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As the OECD highlights, young people have never left education “more ambitious or highly qualified”, however the next step to find attractive work isn’t a given. Find out how in 2021 to 2022, we gave our diverse young adults the experience and skills to set them up for their career

  • Explore, experience and think

The OECD’s 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) showed: “Students vary considerably in the extent to which they are able to visualise and plan their futures, with the most disadvantaged at greatest risk.” It found a positive correlation between students who “explore, experience and think about their futures in work” and lower unemployment, higher wages and greater happiness in their careers as adults.

  • Developing the talent pool of the future

In November 2021, City Year UK was delighted to be awarded with the highest Level 4 from the Skills Builder Partnership for our impact on young people’s essential skills. Our young adults not only gain extensive transferable skills through their social action, but over 120 hours of dedicated leadership and development training, access to new networks, a personalised plan and 10 months of 1:1 career mentoring from a ‘bridge builder’ with a professional background.

  • Accreditation

Last year, every City Year Mentor received a CMI Level 3 in Leadership and Management, demonstrating knowledge and skills of roles and responsibilities required at mid-level management. Next year, they will also be enrolled on to the Level 3 Diploma in Coaching and Mentoring, designed for first-management role seekers.FY22 Impact on young adults infographic

By the end of their City Year, our young adults had developed:

The attributes employers want


believe they can do most things if they try

Can Do

can make the best out of a difficult situation

Goal Setters

can set their own goals


happy to be the leader in a team

It taught me how to be a great team player and leader which I always found challenging.”

City Year Mentor 2021-22

The ability to secure the job they deserve

Team players

CV writing

Interviewing for jobs

Formal presenting

"I have learnt how to be a better public speaker and to believe in myself because I am more capable than I think."

City Year Mentor 2021-22

They know who they are and have a plan for their future career

  • 98.5% agreed to at least some extent that they can decide what their ideal job will be
  • 100% agreed they can choose a career that fits with what they are good at
  • 95% agreed they can make a plan of their goals for the next five years

“City Year gave me guidance on how to navigate my own professional career and development and provided me with insight into how to improve my own work practices and cultivate more self-awareness.” – City Year Mentor


Infographic FY22 - top employment destinations

The socially active citizens of the future

Alongside their full-time social action in schools, our young adults also have the opportunity to learn more about social justice, engage meaningfully with the world around them and lead social action in their local communities. During their two Social Action Days they put their skills to work, to support other causes they care about.

“In these uncertain times, they [young adults] are reassessing their priorities and expecting more from business leaders… Prioritising work / life balance, learning and development, and well-being will be critical, as will having a clear purpose and giving employees the opportunity to address societal issues through their work.” –Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey

Community social action in 2021-22

  • 24 projects
  • 3042 + hours given to organising and delivering social action projects
  • 8 out of 10 gave their Social Action Day 5/5 for enjoyment

“Social Action can be very rewarding – it doesn’t have to take the form of large donations or endless work – a little goes a long way and it’s a lovely feeling.” – City Year Mentor

Team Diamonds

In October 2021, Team Diamonds from City Year West Midlands shone, despite the rain, when they made it to the top of Kinder Scout, raising £400 for their pupils’ chosen charities

Read about their experience
Team Power

Team Power in Hackney organised a massive cake sale to raise money for a whole school end of year trip to the seaside. Many of their pupils had never left London and others hadn’t had the opportunity since before the pandemic

Read more
Black Country video still
Team Freedom

Team Freedom in Coventry raised over £600 for Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre during their Social Action Project through a sponsored walk of 35,000 steps, reflecting the 35% of children who do not attend secondary school after they leave their home country to seek safety

Developing our programme

Just as we pride ourselves on investing in the development of the young adults who volunteer with us, we are constantly evolving our Leadership and Development programme and curriculum.

Finding balance

Following the changes we instigated in response to the pandemic, we have reappraised our balance between virtual and in-person training, regional and national content and in-house and external delivery. Based on school feedback, we’ve introduced more on effective learning, school learning environments and tutoring. AND we’ve made the wellbeing of City Year Mentors a sustained focus; promoting work / life balance and social interaction.

It is always nice to see that City Year cares about our personal development from a well-being standpoint too."

City Year Mentor 2021-22
National Strategic Partners
  • Bank of America logo
  • The Vertex Foundation Logo
  • DHL UK Foundation Logo
  • National Grid Logo
National Partners
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