Sport and Employability: Moving Young People into Employment, Training and Education and Made Outside the Classroom
Principal investigator: Dr Laura Hills
Co-investigator: Dr Emma Wainwright
Street League has the ambitious aim of moving 70% of ‘hard to reach’ young people who join their sport and employability academy into employment, training or education. Our research with participants and employees helped to explain factors that contributed to the success of the programme as well as areas for improvement.
Street League commissioned Brunel University to conduct an external evaluation Street League. The evaluation employed qualitative research methods to evaluate Street League’s products/services with particular attention to impact and to provide recommendations for future development and improvements to help them achieve their objectives.
Key findings included that taking part in a sport-based employability scheme overwhelmingly helped young people develop their teamwork, communication and social skills. A key finding was the importance young people attached to developing friendships with their peers and positive relationships with the adult staff. We also found that football and dance were perceived to be key to the programme’s successful outcomes. Sport provided a space for building relationships and building skills related to employability. In addition, sport served as a hook, and gives Street League a distinctive brand in the youth employment sector.
The additional, Made Outside the Classroom research demonstrated how the Street League academy provides a learning environment that differs from traditional school-based work. This is in part due to more democratic teacher/coach and participant relationships, more career-focused learning, opportunities for the development of social skills, and inclusive sport experiences.
The research has led to changes in Street League’s practices and is part of ongoing their ‘Made Outside the Classroom’ campaign which is designed to support current participants and attract new ones.