Prince Charles opens new Prince's Trust centre to tackle East London's youth unemployment
PUBLISHED: 19:03 13 May 2015 | UPDATED: 19:09 13 May 2015
Prince Charles was greeted by cheering, flag-waving schoolkids in London's East End today when he opened a new centre aimed at tackling chronic youth unemployment.
Pupils were allowed out of class at St Paul’s Way Secondary when he arrived at the new Prince’s Trust centre opposite where he met youngsters getting support from his youth charity to turn their lives around.
He chaired a discussion where he met people like Tanguy Viaud, 25, who spoke of taking cannabis when he was younger and getting into trouble with the police, ending up in prison before turning to the Prince’s Trust for help.
“I knew too many young people like me growing up in East London,” he said. “We felt hopeless about the future, struggling and not knowing where to turn for help.
“The new centre is going to make a massive difference to people growing up here.”
Tanguy joined a fashion course run by the Trust and now works in Saville Row in men’s tailoring.
The new centre aims to help 500 youngsters without jobs in its first year to gain skills and confidence to work, getting them access to employment hubs like Canary Wharf and Stratford as well as The City.
The Prince of Wales joined activities and even helped cook up a vegetable stir fry in the kitchen, then watched a superhero-themed task helping youngsters gain confidence and team-building skills to help them take their first steps towards a job or training.
One-in-five youngsters in Tower Hamlets are currently unemployed, with 21,000 on the dole, the Prince heard.
Prince’s Trust director Dermot Finch said: “Thousands of youngsters across east Lonsdon are still unemployed. This centre will help connect them to job opportunities on our doorstep and in the rest of London.”
A two-year partnership between charity and Morgan Stanley financial services in Canary Wharf nearby raised £1.5 million to create the centre in St Paul’s Way, Bow Common.
Morgan Stanley’s Colm Kelleher said: “This is a lasting legacy for future generations in East London.”
The centre has an ‘outreach zone’ on the ground-floor, open to the public, which assess needs on the spot. Above, staff and volunteers run free courses to build self-confidence for the working world, or even how to set up businesses.