Our Southwark Youth Employment Scheme: SEEDS

MalachiThroughout 2015 Tree Shepherd has been actively engaged with Southwark employers to secure posts for young people who have experienced significant disadvantage in life and are removed from the job market.

Our project manager Catherine Anne Blaikie has excelled at securing engagement from companies who are now helping to totally transform the lives and prospects of many young people.

Pictured: Malachi on assignment

The Southwark Employment and Enterprise Development Scheme (SEEDS) is a project designed to increase youth employment and help Southwark businesses grow.

SEEDS helps local SMEs to give a young Southwark resident a new job opportunity. Contracts last for 12 months and employers will receive a subsidy to help pay London Living Wage. At the end of the year SMEs will be supported to either take on their fully trained employee or to help them find further employment with their new skills.

Employers taking part in the scheme will benefit from:

  • Wage incentives of up to 50 per cent
  • Mentoring and business support
  • Support in recruiting for apprenticeship and non-apprenticeship roles

SarahSupported by Southwark Council’s £3m Youth Fund, and delivered in partnership with Southwark Works and Tree Shepherd, the project is part of the council’s plan to boost employment for young people in the borough and guarantee education, employment or training for every school leaver.


Pictured: SEEDS candidate Sarah, now working as a sales support assistant at Southwark News.


“The team were very helpful in listening to our needs as a model agency, and we quickly shortlisted 6 interviewees. SEEDS acted very swiftly with our requests and we could not be more delighted with the service we have received from them.” Paulo Ribeiro, Director PRM Agency

Cllr Ian Wingfield, cabinet member for employment, businesses and communities, said:  “If a tenth of the 13,000 small and medium businesses in Southwark agreed to take part, that would be over 1,000 new jobs for Southwark’s youth. In addition the businesses get support to recruit, train and develop new staff, and help their business grow.”

If you are a Southwark-based business and you would like to help develop a young person who has had a challenging start in life whilst growing your own business, call Catherine on 07816 976 569 or email catherinea@treeshepherd.org.uk

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