Working Rite is a social enterprise that sets up and delivers work-based mentoring and learning projects for 16-19 year olds across Scotland. The aim is to appeal to young people who have rejected the education system and are at risk of entering a life of insecure employment, crime or benefits.
The project works by matching up young people in a one-to-one relationship with a local self-employed tradesman. The young people get real full-time work experience for six months alongside a trained older person from their own community.
The project is based on the belief that a first job can be a significant, maturing event for a teenager, and that their relationship with their first boss is usually a crucial one.
Benefits for the Community
This project has the potential to create a number of benefits for the community, the overriding one being the sense of social responsibility. This has a two-fold effect, one being the responsibility the older person feels they have to the young person for passing on employment and life skills that will help them in adulthood. The second is the young person learning responsibility and commitment to other people which in turns leads to positive interaction between generations. Additionally this can support retention of traditional vocational skills within the community.
Benefits for the Younger People
The project has a number of benefits for younger people. Overall the project has a steady 75% success rate in progressing teenage boys into full time employment and apprenticeships. During the placements, the young person gains practical skills, on site experience as well as being treated as one of the workforce. Responsibility, confidence and interpersonal skills are also outcomes of this project as this young person explains:
“I’ve leaned how to communicate with older people. I didn’t start speaking to older people until I got into this job. I’ve got a lot more confidence now than when I started.”
Benefits for the Older People
Evaluation of the project has shown that the tradesmen benefit from mentoring the younger people, as this man highlights:
“Havin’ a laddie to work with us is like a breath of fresh air. It knocks the staleness out of us.”
By passing on the skills of the trade, not only do the mentors feel a sense of fulfilment but a sense of pride knowing that their trade is being passed onto future generations.
This project contributes to the Scottish National Performance Framework (NPF):
Scottish NPF Objectives
The main NPF objective that this project contributes to is:
- Smarter will focus on improving literacy, numeracy and attainment and on raising and realising ambition for all.
These NFP objectives could also apply:
- Wealthier and Fairer will support activities that address inequalities and enhance skills, employability and job opportunities. It builds on the characteristics of solidarity, cohesion and sustainability to ensure that all of Scotland has an opportunity to flourish.
Scottish NFP Outcomes
Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens: To enable children, young people and (subsequently) adults to thrive from an early age, and make a positive contribution in the 21st century.
We realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people: If everyone has the opportunity to work, improve their skills and make a positive contribution to the nation’s increasing prosperity, we will create a wealthier, fairer and smarter Scotland.
We have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk: Tackling risks early and building the resilience of children, young people and families will improve the educational, health and employment outcomes of our people.