Thu, 07 Jul 2022

With the support of corporate partners, Dallaglio RugbyWorks empowers and equips young people with workplace skills and experience across the UK. In turn, this boosts employability and steers the trajectory of their lives in the right direction. 

We became the charity’s founding partner in the West Midlands in 2018 as we share their mission to help young people. Together, we knew we could make a difference.

We caught up with Zenna Hopson, CEO of Dallaglio RugbyWorks, to discuss the impact that is being made across the region. 

Branching into the Midlands

The Midlands is full of possibility and charm; however, research shows it also has one of the highest skills gaps in the UK. This is especially evident among young people. In Birmingham alone, those in the 16–19 age group have the 8th highest skills gap in the UK. This means that a record number of students have been falling out of the system into exclusion with no clear pathway of what to do next.

Commenting on exclusion, Zenna says: “When working with individuals that have been excluded from school and mainstream education, statistically, they only have a 54% chance of being employed post-18. But with the help of our partners, we want to give them the national average, which is 96%.”

Our Head of Communications, Jayne Licari, adds: “The partnership ties seamlessly into our company values: we’re positive, we own it and we’re brave. We wanted to step out and be brave by endeavouring to solve a societal issue close to our hearts that many people weren’t ready to address. We would own it as our support would enable the projects to run. And it goes without saying that the partnership would lead to an overwhelmingly positive impact for the young people in our region.”   

“We wanted to start a partnership where we could help out on the ground with students who are close to us.”

Opening doors to opportunity

Research by The Gatsby Foundation shows that young people from deprived communities are 50% more likely to gain future employment if they have four quality exposures to a working environment. Through the partnership, we have formed relationships with the students through taster days and skill-building exercises, as well as facilitating opportunities with other organisations to open doors for young people. These organisations have included Michelin Tyres, BSS Construction, Currys, BNP Paribas Real Estate, and even Hogarths Hotel, where young people in the top 20% of deprivation were able to experience working in silver service. 

Already, 771 young lives have been impacted through Dallaglio RugbyWorks’ programmes. 

Zenna Hopson adds: “This would not have been possible without the experiences obtained through the BNP Paribas Personal Finance and their connections, where young people are given practical exposure, hope and opportunities. There is no one project that stands out — it’s the whole partnership that is changing lives.”

How you can help

If you are interested in joining the nation's aim to get our young people fitter, fed, involved, and engaged, Dallaglio RugbyWorks is a fantastic cause to support. As well as financial support, your whole team can get involved in fundraisers and volunteering activities.

It has also never been more important, post-pandemic, for businesses to open their doors once again to young people and provide them with work experience and opportunities for learning that can propel them in the future. 

If you’re interested in helping young people in need of life-changing support, get involved with Dallaglio RugbyWorks here.

To discover more about our commitment to supporting young people, read our positive impact report here