Renaisi has been appointed learning partner for the Youth Futures Foundation Connected Futures fund aimed at getting young people into good jobs.

A group of people posing for a photo at the launch of Connected Futures. Renaisi's Beth Stout is second from right, back row.
The launch of Connected Futures. Renaisi’s Beth Stout is second from right, back row.

Renaisi has been appointed learning partner for Youth Futures Foundation’s £16 million Connected Futures Fund to support young people into good jobs through pioneering local partnerships.

Currently, one in 10 young people in the UK are not in employment, education or training. In places like Blackpool and Burnley, rates of youth unemployment are twice as high as neighbouring areas. According to research by PwC and Youth Futures, UK GDP could benefit by £38billion by lowering levels of young workers classed as NEETs to German levels.

Alice Kedge, Evidence and Evaluation Manager, said:

“We’re delighted to be working with Renaisi as our Learning Partner for the Connected Futures Fund. We were impressed by their expertise, experience, and approach to learning within systems change, giving us confidence that the local partnerships would be supported and challenged. Their approach to equity and inclusion also makes them a great choice to support the local areas and young people involved in this project.”

Renaisi brings UK place-based systems change practitioners and evaluators, experienced learning partners and facilitators, and frontline expertise in employment services to the learning partnership.

We’ll take a phased and flexible approach to working alongside Youth Futures and local partners. A Renaisi consultant will act as learning lead for each area, we’ll deliver a series of events for grantees to come together and learn, and provide robust, supportive internal learning for the Youth Futures team.

Renaisi’s Principal Consultant for Place-based Evaluation & Learning, Lily O’Flynn said:

“What makes Connected Futures particularly exciting is that it is designed to be learning-led. Our deep experience as learning partners has shown that learning can have a transformative effect on the ability of teams to work collaboratively, as well as agree and achieve shared goals.”

Our approach to learning

We will prioritise creating safe, equitable and supportive spaces for young people to participate in learning. We will focus on leveraging our learning expertise to bring a range of voices into the programme, build consensus for a shared change.

We have designed three distinct but connected levels of learning for the first phase of the fund.

Connected Futures learning model with 3 distinct levels.

At each level, we will provide learning support and capacity building:

  1. Local partnership – supporting each local partnership to develop strong collaborative relationships, from better understanding the root causes of issues, to exploring entry routes and collaborative activities that might leverage lasting change.
  2. Across local partnerships – creating environments where peer-to-peer learning (and inspiration) can happen across all local partnership groups, in the spirit of being part of a bigger movement of change, rather than of competition.  This will also enable local partnership groups to expand learning and develop a stronger collective voice about what needs to change for young people to thrive.
  • Youth Futures Foundation & stakeholders – comparing and combining insights from across the places, as well others, to understand the system, build a deeper understanding of the root causes preventing young people from accessing good employment and how to address them through a place-based approach.

About Connected Futures

Launched to join up support for young people across different agencies and services, the now £16m fund, will be targeted at seven localities in England with some of the highest NEET rates and deprivation indicators.

The flagship programme will see local partnerships from Burnley to Brent receive funding to establish new systems that provide young people who face more barriers to employment, with the connected and consistent support they need to get good jobs.

The series of local group partnerships will explore a range of options, including early intervention, post-school support for young people who are already NEET, and “end-to-end” assistance for young people from 14 up to 25.

About learning partnerships

Complementary to our social research and evaluation services, we have developed a learning partnership offering to offer clients a more embedded, phased and flexible approach to organisational learning.

Learning partnerships are designed to:

  • Make sure that learning is captured and acted on
  • Giving people time to reflect, take stock and improve their work
  • Improve team working and experience-sharing
  • Bring in learning from experience elsewhere
  • Share learning externally – giving value to others

Renaisi is a uniquely well-rounded learning partner for the social sector. We draw on our experience of collaborating with local and national charities, central and local government, and charitable funders, which means we can design learning partnerships to suit any organisational issue or cohort context.

Founded in 1998 to regenerate neighbourhoods in Hackney, East London, today Renaisi works directly with groups that are marginalised by society and supports the social sector to understand and increase its impact on people and communities.

Lily O’Flynn