ThinkForward’s breakthrough programme coaches the most disengaged young people from age 13 to 18 to succeed in education and progress into sustained employment.

Coaches build trusted relationships, helping young people to take control of their own lives and set goals for their futures, while overcoming challenges at home, in the community and at school. Complementing the one-to-one coaching, young people are also linked to targeted ‘Ready for Work’ activities to build their life skills and aspirations in order to gain and sustain employment.

We consciously focus on working with the most disadvantaged, as we know there are existing interventions for those who require less intensive support. Through a scoring mechanism and the knowledge of school staff, we identify 13 year olds with known risk factors, including poor behaviour, attainment and attendance and whether young people are in care, on free school meals or have special educational needs.

Our approach to supporting young people is distinctive and is underpinned by four key principles: early long-term intervention, one-to-one relationship with an experienced trusted Coach, strong partnerships where we connect rather than duplicate and finally we link young people directly with employers.

Alongside the coaching support, ThinkForward offers young people unique experiences of the world of work through activities such as business mentoring, work experience placements, insight days, CV writing workshops and interview practice. These are all targeted towards developing work readiness capabilities.

My name is Nina French, I am the ThinkForward Progression Coach at The Marsh Academy.  My role is to engage, support, motivate and inspire our students to overcome the barriers and challenges which may be preventing them from achieving their full potential not only at school, but also in life.  I look to encourage them to identify their own skills and passions so they are able to become our resilient, driven and self-assured leaders for the future.