We engage young people through the Power of Sport.

Sport teaches teamwork, leadership, discipline and competitive spirit – not only beneficial on the pitch or in the dance studio, but also essential for the world of work.

At Street League we deliver employability services held together by the power of sport, offering a growing range of activities designed to appeal to different groups of disadvantaged young people.

Sport is integral to making Street League work – it brings people together, enables them to feel physically and mentally healthier, teaches key skills like discipline, communication and team work, and is one of the most powerful engagement tools when working with hard to reach young people.

Whether it’s through the power of football or dance fitness, we are focussed on helping our young people achieve sustainable change in their lives. We strive to be efficient and effective in everything we do, ambitious for Street League to continue to grow and have an even greater impact in eradicating youth unemployment.

Young people come to Street League in various ways, referred by unemployment offices and other social services outlets, youth workers, the probation service, through word of mouth, or via our online social media channels and refer-a-friend schemes.

During this time our staff develop a relationship with the young people and begin to talk about their aspirations with the intention, when an individual is ready, to join an Academy course. This process lasts approximately two months and although classroom-based, sport remains an integral part, and gives ‘students’ the skills and support they need to progress into education, training or work, with the support of Street League.

Street League Football

Our roots are in Street League Football; it is the platform on which we built our charity and it continues to be the primary sport for Street League in 2016, representing 95% of our total participants. Football is the national sport and is an incredible engagement tool. From walking into a community with a bag of footballs, right through to achieving a six month sustained job outcome, football is the glue to our Street League Football programme.

Through our Academy programme, participants become fitter and more active which in turn means their minds become fitter and more active. We teach Maths and English in a way which is relevant, fun and engaging – by using football and sporting examples to bring the subjects to life both on the pitch and in the classroom, and ultimately help young people learn the skills they need to get and sustain a job.

“We're trying to help young people out of unemployment and into a career path. It's great that football has the power to engage young people and to see the smiles on their faces when the footballs come out.

Michael Owen, Former England Footballer

Street League Dance Fit

Capitalising on the significant growth in Dance Fitness, in 2014 we launched Street League Dance Fit. We are seeing significant benefits through the addition of Dance Fit to our sporting portfolio, including:

  • Ability to tailor sessions – creating either individual programmes or wider group interactions
  • Giving young people the freedom to express themselves
  • The appeal to young female participants, helping to diversify our gender mix

Increasing diversity 

In 2015, with support from Barclays, Street League launched a new employability programme that uses dance fitness to support young people into sustainable employment, education and training outcomes. Launched as ‘Street Step’ and later re-branded as ‘Street League Dance-Fit’, this programme set out to engage and support more young females.

In 2014, 93% of our Academy participants were male. Young females comprise about 50% of the UK’s youth unemployment gures and many face different barriers to employment than their male counterparts. Street League recognised that we needed to transform our award-winning programme, review our outreach strategy, and develop partnerships that met the needs of female participants.

It was important for us that setting up this new programme was not a matter of making it about ‘dance for the girls and football for the boys’. It was an opportunity to pro-actively evaluate our data, review relevant research, try new things, learn, and implement what we found out across the whole organisation. Street League’s Dance-Fit programme was launched in London, Glasgow and Birmingham and in 2016/17 will begin operating in Manchester and Liverpool as well. We saw 73% female participation across the three launch cities (94 of 129) as well as a greater number of young people whose parents were not currently employed.

Moving forward, Street League aims to engage a greater number of young females on its sport for employment programmes with
a target of 30% female participation by 2018/19. This will be achieved through the expansion of Dance-Fit into new locations and by applying the lessons learned across all of our programmes. Street League is an inclusive organisation and has established partnerships with several leading charities to better meet the needs of young people facing a variety of barriers, such as mental health issues, childcare needs, criminal records, and learning di culties. We have been inspired by the impact our new Dance-Fit programme has had, the change to young people’s lives it has been able to make and an exciting future as it continues to grow.

Employment sectors 

Street League supported 1281 young people into employment, education and training last year. Of the 804 who moved into employment, this spanned across 23 different industries.

The top 5 industries in which we created employment links were:

  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Warehousing
  • Construction
  • Food production

The partnership has really benefitted Jewson because it has allowed us to attract a younger, more diverse workforce. Jewson has found the calibre of candidates to be really strong, and at the same time it is protecting the sustainability of our business so we're excited to be expanding the partnership into more regions -

Adele Winfield, HR Manager, Jewson