City Year UK (CYUK) is a youth and education charity which empowers diverse 18 to 25-year-olds to tackle educational inequality through a year of full-time volunteering in schools.
Throughout their City Year, young people take part in a Leadership and Development programme which provides them with training, career opportunities and new networks, and develops them as active citizens, leaders, and professionals. The programme combines real-world experiences and is underpinned by comprehensive training, coaching, and networking in a professional environment.
CYUK believes that a participant’s year should also serve as a launch pad for their career. By making explicit reference to the Skills Builder framework, using its language and icons, the programme gives participants the time and opportunity to find out about their strengths and areas for development. There is a clear skills match between what employers want and the capabilities young people can develop through full-time volunteering and social action and this is why CYUK considers the essential skills important to use as a framework for young people's development. Through workshops, guest speakers and dedicated mentors, CYUK's volunteers progress in skills development and gain an insight into a range of career paths.
Through a guided reflection curriculum and alumni programme, participants reflect half-termly - setting goals for the skills they want to develop and after the programme to track and quantify whether progress has been made. In order to do this most effectively, CYUK use Skills Builder Benchmark for all their volunteer mentors. They use the admin licences to gather and analyse data in order to inform continued support for the mentors’ development. One of their alumni said: "Use your City Year to think!”
*Since 2009, City Year UK has trained and supported over 1,500 young adults to coach and mentor over 15,000 pupils in need of extra help and contributed to a positive school culture for over 100,000 children. Over 90% of their volunteers move into higher education, employment or training within three months of completing their City Year.