Project Description

Haringey (London) Employability Skills – Case Study

Families into Work is a groundbreaking and innovative programme, established in September 2008 which aims to tackle fundamental issues which effect families in the Northumberland Park Ward, one of the most deprived in the country. It aims to improve the life chances of people in the area and work with them to identify and address their barriers to employment. It supports children and young people to achieve success in education and develop knowledge and skills to gain work with career prospects. It also works to increase family aspirations to succeed and gain independence

One of the theories behind it is that until you can sort out what is going on behind the front door and deal with issues and barriers within the family, you cannot effect real change including getting the long term unemployed into sustainable employment.

Research shows that the cost to the public purse of someone unemployed is £58,000 per year. This increases to £178,000 per year for a family of four including criminal justice interventions. Much of this now finds itself under the Total Place banner. The question is – who owns these problems?

Recro worked with the council to create a real change in motivation and attitude creating a paradigm shift in aspiration. A bespoke programme was put together comprising of “The Life You Want” and specialist training and coaching support. This was delivered on site in Haringey as well as a purpose built state of the art outdoor facility.

When you drill down into the core issues be it around worklessness, including youth offending, NEET’s, gangs etc the majority comes down to a mixture of lack of confidence, low self esteem, lack of motivation and aspiration combined with being a victim of their environment / circumstance.

Residents who were part of the F2W programme were invited to attend The Life You Want programme. They were all long term unemployed and many were single parents.

Below are their comments upon completing the initial three day programme.

How did you feel before the course started?

“Tired, not being able to think I can do anything”
“Being jobless for a long time, I had low self esteem”
“Not sure about things, I wasn’t happy with each day I went through”
“Curious as to how it would help”

What have you learnt?

“To be better prepared for interviews, to think from an employers point of view, to be more positive and confident when going for the jobs I want”

“Be confident, be positive, not to be scared about anything”
“I have learnt to be more confident and to live life more cheerfully”
“I’ve learnt to think outside the box, to be happy with myself and to be more focused” “I learnt that I can do it, I am good, I am a winner”

What have been the key breakthroughs for you?

“Confidence and determination”
“Being in control with my life and trusting people”

“I have gained more communication skills, enhanced vision to set my goals and become a more emotionally strong person”

“My key breakthrough is to look to the future and in taking that first step to better my life” “The key breakthrough was all of it. The exercises, the talks, the encouragement”

What they said when they had finished the course

“It has helped me to be more motivated and think more business like”

“For me this programme has made me very happy and confident. People around me noticed the energy and power in me”

“I feel much better and stronger within. I strongly think that all the exercises we did during The Life You Want programme were very helpful to achieve these positive results”

“I feel much happier, stronger and wiser than before”

Any Comments

“I think you and Razz really help people like me who have been unemployed for a long time to have the confidence and drive to get back into employment and to really want to do it.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for being there for me”

“With regards to The Life You Want, I believe it is too humble for me to give any comment for such an esteem programme. I do wish to have in the future a longer association with it to improve myself”

“This programme is wonderful and should be more available. You did everything to help us. More time available would be good.”

What the Families into Work team said

“The group have a different air about them”
“Everyone wants to go into work now, before they were unsure” “There is a huge confidence here now”
“It’s like you’ve all been sprinkled with magic dust”

The Life You Want is a three day motivation, personal breakthrough and employment programme. It is an exciting, new and powerful programme that will assist people to change their lives and:

  • Increase motivation
  • Address blockages
  • Increase knowledge of employment and careers and how to access
  • Increase self-awareness, self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Increase ability to change life, break habits, gain and hold onto a job
  • Improve health and attitude
  • Helps realise their real potential
  • Develop confidence and aspiration
  • Help them address personal issues that effect them and often hold themback
  • Give them a new lease of lifeIt gives specific help to develop a path to a career i.e. how the employment market works, different approaches and an employers perspective. The programme design is reality based, meeting people where they are currently in life and supporting them to grow in the areas that they choose.Make no mistake about it; this programme is about creating powerful, positive and lasting changes, individually tailored to the participants needs, wants and desires. We work respectfully with people to achieve life-changing results.Copyright © 2010 Recro Consulting Ltd


The three day programme is the start of a proactive journey which uses bespoke methods tailored to individual needs. One of the participants who had not worked in eight years was successful in getting a job two weeks later. She told of how much the programme had helped build her confidence, communication skills and self esteem to believe she could do it. Another who had not worked for 12 years sourced a job herself, having had a successful assessment and interview experience but deciding that shift work was not realistic given her family commitments.

At the time of writing almost all participants are in sustainable employment or training.

This is not a “bums on seats” job programme pushing “square pegs in round holes”. This is about helping participants to achieve “The Life You Want” part of which is working towards their chosen career.


The Life You Want is designed to create the paradigm shift needed in motivation and aspiration for people to progress in education, training and employment. It is being increasingly recognised that unless you do some real personal development with many of this client group then it is not possible to train, educate or employ them. The programme also includes a bespoke career path and personal development plan.

A coaching and mentoring programme can also be added to the course to lock in progress and help participants overcome obstacles and protect the investment made. This can sit independently or alongside a bespoke employment programme to get the participant into sustainable employment.

About Us

Recro pulls together highly qualified and experienced people who would not normally be accessible to these target groups. The delivery team is experienced in every area of recruitment including high street agency, temporary, niche mid level and search and selection. They have managed outsourcing, volume assessment and assessment centres, as well as delivered career coaching and outplacement. Clients span the public and private sectors including local government, central government, NHS, regeneration and housing agencies, voluntary sector, major blue chips and SMEs.

The personal development team boasts a track record again of public and private sector clients. This ranges from universities, NASA, US government, major blue chips, schools, NDCs (New Deal for Communities), housing associations, voluntary groups and football clubs.

This is a new and highly innovative approach to tackling worklessness and the challenges associated with it. As an example, elements of this course were used with a school in the Midlands, turning it from the worst performing school into the best in a five year period. Most importantly, the greatest turnaround was with the achievement of five GCSE A*-C’s by 90% of the most challenging group who would otherwise have been expected to be in serious trouble.

For more information please contact John McDonough, Director on 07837 663 969 or