GROW (Giving Real Opportunities for Work) trainees in a kitchen chatting

Zurich support young homeless people

Giving Real Opportunities for Work (GROW) apprenticeships support vulnerable homeless people into work.

GROW apprenticeships train young people with lived experience of homelessness to support their peers. A new apprenticeship is being funded by the Zurich Community Trust.

Over 10 months, the trainee will receive vocational training towards finding paid employment. The role offers the young person practical experience and provides a sense of purpose and achievement. They will gain vocational skills, build relationships, and broaden their horizons.

Almost half of people in homeless accommodation services are between 16 and 24 years old. These young people usually become homeless due to family breakdown or growing up in care.

Without support or intervention, homelessness adversely impacts their education, employment, and health. It is also more likely to lead to homelessness in older age.

One of the biggest hurdles young homeless people face is finding a job. Most will have gaps in their education and little or no work experience. Some may also have histories of offending, or poor mental health. There is little funding to help people who have experienced homelessness into work.

A new Young People’s Floating Support Service will work with four young people’s supported accommodation services in Swindon. These house almost 150 young people or young parents at any given time. There are many more living on friends’ sofas, or other insecure accommodation, who also need help.

The trainee will have experience of homelessness and the challenges homeless people face. They will support up to 100 young people who are living in hostels, or at risk of homelessness.