How successful collaboration can better young people across the region

Posted on 26th November 2021

This article was written by Chris Radcliffe, Marketing Officer at The Learning Foundry.

As part of our continued aim to provide first rate education and training to young people across the Northwest, The Learning Foundry has many partnerships with wonderful and hardworking organisations that share the same beliefs as us. 

One partnership we’re always excited to talk about is with Thrive Careers Hub. 

Situated in the city centre Thrive is “a coffee shop where Liverpool City Region young people, support workers and support organisations can meet in a safe and friendly environment whilst accessing job search support.”

Over the past few months, Thrive have put on some great events including their FUSE job’s fair at Pins Social Club. The Learning Foundry staff and learners joined in on the FUSE event and it was a fantastic day for employers looking to recruit new employees, apprenticeships and Kickstarters, while our learners and other young people we’re able to find our what roles they were suited for and how their careers could progress. Through our collaboration, we have several success stories in helping young people gain new skills and experience, move into employment and improve professional and personal development.

How the partnership works

The Learning Foundry and Thrive work together with one main aim: To do what’s best for the learner. 

Both organisations offer great opportunities for young people to gain vital experience and training, but the fact that both parties can lean on each other’s expertise, mean any of our service users, will be given the best support they need. 

If a young person who’s working with Thrive needs any training or support, they are referred to The Learning Foundry to undergo any Traineeship, Apprenticeship, or other course available. In return, Thrive will help learners find work experience, employment and provide additional support. 

This means that if a someone comes to The Learning Foundry or Thrive and they are looking for a specific kind of support, but one organisation can’t provide what is needed, they can use their collaboration and contacts to refer the service user to somewhere that can help.

The Learning Foundry’s Managing Director Jo Abraham said, “The Learning Foundry and thrive work together and develop a bespoke package between us both and help them [service users] into employment, accommodation, but most importantly we give them the confidence, the skills, the knowledge and the behaviours, to achieve whatever they want to achieve.”

Why partnerships like this are so important

A lot of young people today are unsure about what careers they want to peruse, or if they do, they don’t know how to make the first step in achieving their goals. Through this partnership, more young people who use our services, are given the advice and support needed to make their dreams a reality. 

“The Learning foundry and Thrive work extremely well,” said Jo Abraham, “We both have a passion in helping people achieve their fullest potential. Everyone needs help at some point in their lives, and I think TLF and Thrive work together particularly well. If someone needs something or has a barrier or has a circumstance, they can still absolutely achieve their fullest potential and they just need a little help along the way.”

When working with young people to ensure the correct services are provided, it is vital that whatever partnership is made, it’s based on the same principles.  

As Thrive’s Engagement Worker Kerry said, ‘At the beginning, companies were willing to take our kids but not offer anything else in return. We were always happy to work with other organisations, but it had to be right for the young person as they always come first.’  

By only working with companies or organisations that that share the same ethos, both the Learning Foundry and Thrive have been able to build a strong list of contacts which has helped in providing an excellent support and advice service to anyone who comes though their doors.  

Of course, there have been a few struggles along the way. As with many others, new challenges rose during the Covid months. As services were moved online, it was important to keep young people inspired, connected and engaged while providing necessary support such as giving out laptops, lunches, and making sure mental health checks were regularly carried out. Both The Learning Foundry and Thrive are proud of their staff’s efforts and feel they adapted extremely well during this time. Yet, over the past few months the newest obstacle has been motivating some young people to leave the comfort of Universal Credit and lack of expectations from job coaches, and to look for new employment. We’re also aware that after spending eighteen months in doors, many are not sure where to go for support. By advertising each other’s successes and services, attending each other’s events and continuing to refer learners, we’re able to reach more young people than we would without. 

Another important aspect is how Thrive commonly deal with refugees and young people from hard-to-reach areas, offering opportunities to those who may not normally know about the options they actually have. Through important outreach nights, sign posting vacancies and training opportunities, they can inform young people the alternative futures they may follow. If not for the work of youth workers and engagement officers, then it would be easy for these young people to be forgotten about, which as it stands is an issue in of itself.  Through our partnership, these young people can be referred onto the Learning Foundry where we can assist in their development and help ensure the proper support is provided.  

The benefits this will have on young people

As Thrive’s Kerry put simply, “The more we collaborate, the more opportunities there is for young people.”

Every young person deserves a chance. No matter the background or choices made, it’s important for young people to know there are places for them to go.

 If someone didn’t have the best time in school, didn’t achieve the best GCSE’s, grew up with a less fortunate background, or were young offenders, then together we aim to help them all. Together with contacts, support workers, tutors, education and real-world experience we are able to create a more tailored system for each individual and really learn what is best for them.  

‘Our partnership with The Learning Foundry really adds value to the services we offer young people; working with TLF we are able to explore educational routeways for young people who need additional wrap-around support as well as bespoke routeways to work starting with traineeships and progressing to full-time employment – its been a fantastic partnership that benefits young people across the Region’. Sara, Thrive 

We have had great success stories with learners who came looking for support with no idea what they wanted to do, but we’ve been able to put them on the right journey and offer some jobs in fields they never would have thought about. 

The Housing and Hospitality industries are great examples of successful avenues some of our young people have journeyed. It no secret that not many children dream of a job in housing, or show much interest in the field all together, but as we’ve learned more about the individuals, and they have seen where they can go with the roles, it’s turned out these routes were the right fit for them.  

It’s also normal for us to help people change careers or offer support in changing gears altogether. It’s common for us to help those just finished university who felt they chose the wrong course, didn’t get what they paid for or are struggling to find experience or employment post-graduation. From our access to training courses and exclusive job opportunities, to Thrive’s excellent career advice and support, we can help find a placement you need to progress or sign you up to an apprenticeship that’s more suited to you. 

If you’re feeling the same, then don’t hesitate to get in touch, for it’s better to take advantage of any service you can get them for free.  

How it may help the Liverpool City Region in the future

It is the duty of any organisations or group like The Learning Foundry or Thrive to assist in upskilling the future work force. As the world continues to change, current and older generations may not have the same skills as young people today. Through education, support and advice we must ensure these young people are ready for the future work place and help ensure the region has an abundance of highly skilled individuals. 

In a time where it is normal for people to migrate for better employment and opportunities, we owe it to the region to create our own jobs and workers, so we’re not taken over by other cities or regions. With several great new business and sectors currently finding success in the Liverpool City Region, we only want to see this growth continue and have local talent assist in the regions development. 

We also need to create spaces and chances for people coming into our region as well as harnessing those who are hard to reach. Through our efforts to educate and inform we can help lower anti-social behaviour and prevent people turning to lives of crime. By offering financially stable alternatives that offers these young people more choice and freedom in their lives, we can help improve even the most deprived areas of the Northwest.  

By continued collaboration with fellow organisations, we feel we can help change the way the Liverpool city region works. While we have seen some improvements over the past ten years in political agendas, and better investment, we believe there is still more work needed to fully reach our region’s potential. 

We hope by showing our successes, and how much our work can help the young people today, then we can inspire future generations to be granted even better opportunities. 

To find out more about The Learning Foundry or Thrive Careers Hub get in touch today by emailing or

Our Partners

Thrive is committed to working in collaboration with local partners and organisations and we would like to thank our partners below.