Today’s highly competitive job market in the UK can make knowing which career path to follow difficult, so gap years taken before going to college or University are under more pressure than ever to improve long term prospects. Providing British students with an alternative to trying to find themselves at the bottom of a bucket of whiskey in Thailand, radical programme Year Here helps young people work towards getting a job that benefits society – and turns them into the next generation of FutureHeroes from their own backyard.
Having experienced the traditional gap year himself, founder Jack Graham worked for a NGO in Zambia and invested in social startups at home. A corporate desk job was not for him. In March 2013 he launched Year Here with the slogan “Why you should escape to Southall, not South Africa”. A unique and ambitious full-time course in social innovation based in London, it challenges top grads and post A-Level students – who apply under specific themes such as ‘the ageing population’ or ‘social mobility’ – to a year of building smart solutions to social problems.
The programme puts focus on the day-to-day experience of those on the frontline of Britain’s social services. Students spend grounding months in shelters, care homes and community centres, learning first-hand from the people hit hardest by poverty and inequality. Supported by industry mentoring, Year Here Fellows get to share radical ideas without leaving the country.
Jack Graham, Founder and CEO