CAtch 22

empowers young people with barriers to work find training and employment. 

Region London, Liverpool, Bristol, West Midlands
Scale 1000 – 1200 per year 
Funding Structure Government contracts, corporate partners (Barclays LifeSkills)
2018/2019 Employer Partners 100+ including BUPA, Norwood Care, Emirates Aviation

Our programs are based in the community, reaching out to the people who need it most. We proactively find people who need this program. We help anyone who wants to work.

Each person gets individually-tailored support, where we source training and help match each person to a placement that suits them. We offer a bursary for clothes, licenses and travel. For 6-12 months after each person is placed, we contact them regularly to provide in-work support.

We have a high sustainability rate – 72% of people in our programs are in work/training 6 months after placement (2017/18).

We believe in apprenticeships – 32% of our placements were apprenticeship opportunities (2017/18).

We work with employers, to help them understand their recruitment practices, support systems and how they can increase diversity.

We believe employment is part of a wider social need – everyone needs a purpose in life to thrive. We believe good employment can influence positive systemic change.

Case Studies

Bev’s story

Bev had been out of work due to taking some time out to raise her son. She had not had an interview for 12 years and prior to her maternity leave she was employed as a retail assistant. Bev wanted to change sector from retail to an administration role, she was lacking in confidence and she didn’t know where to start to gain a career within business and administration.

Bev’s Catch22 advisor arranged a series of appointments with Bev and agreed to initially focus on her CV. They spent some time drawing out her relevant skills and qualities and tailoring her experience towards an administration role. Bev grew in confidence in relation to applications and she adopted a really positive approach towards job search.

Through persistent hard work and connecting with various employers Bev and her advisor secured her an interview for a receptionist role. Although she was really nervous she and her advisor spent some time considering possible questions and looking for particular outstanding facts about the organisation that would aid her in responding to interview questions. They carried out mock interviews in preparation and ironed out the concerns Bev had about her own ability to perform well at the interview.

Bev impressed the interview panel so much that they contacted her the very same day to offer her the position! Although Bev had had no specific or direct administration experience she was able to confidently apply for this position and succeed at interview for a new role. The Catch22 team really enjoyed helping Bev to reach her goal and were very proud that she grew in confidence and knowledge of the sector she wanted to go into.

“Before LifeSkills, I found looking for work extremely difficult. I lacked motivation and felt as though there were many obstacles in my way, such as not having the ‘essential/preferred’ qualities a company was looking for.  

Since meeting with [my Catch22 advisor], she has given me the confidence and motivation to apply for jobs. She made me realise I had the qualities they were looking for in the transferable skills I gained from previous jobs and training programmes. I enjoyed our meetings. We would update my CV, apply for job vacancies and she would encourage me to think about what more I could be doing in between our appointments.

I am now in full time employment and am thoroughly enjoying the routine of being a working mum, thanks to [my Catch22 advisor and the program].”

Aaron’s story

Aaron had many reasons why he needed support, including being a single parent with two young children. He found himself lacking confidence and was unable to find the drive to follow his ambitions. Aaron wanted a job working with exotic animals – this was really all he wanted to do. It was his dream. His Catch22 advisor was concerned this would be a hard role to support, and after lengthy discussion and some action planning, his advisor had established that Arron had no formal qualifications or relevant experience in this area.

Together, Aaron and his advisor took the approach of gaining work experience in the Knowsley Safari Park. Aaron began a six week placement which developed his skills, knowledge and confidence. He continued to meet with his Catch22 advisor each week and worked on his CV. They discussed future career progression and next steps. During his placement a job opportunity came up for a Steward position within the park. Aaron applied and he gained an interview. With support from his advisor, Aaron performed really well at the interview and was successful! Aaron has gone on to receive in-work support from his advisor. His advisor is currently helping Aaron secure funding for a Level 3 Zoology qualification which will allow him to develop a career with the industry he had always wanted to work in.

“With the help of the team I was able to readjust my ‘I can’t do that’ attitude and applied for a job at the safari when a position came up. I have always wanted to work at the safari as it has been my dream since I was a child to work with animals. Now, I work at the safari as a steward for the sea lion displays, the birds of prey display and as an informative guide in the bat cave.”

Gbolahan’s story

I heard about Catch22 from my friend and they helped him in employment in coaching. I contacted one of the [Catch22 advisors], and she gave me job opportunities in doing coaching, retail and door supervisor. I preferred being a door supervisor because it was more appealing to me and I felt like approaching something I have not done before. I felt nervous at first but when we started talking, I became familiar and more confident expressing myself.

The support I was given helped me in many ways. At first I was told that getting a SIA Badge would be difficult for me, however I was given steps in how to get the badge. Due to me having learning difficulties, I tend to struggle from time to time but they helped guide me.

Since being with Catch22 [my advisor] has devoted her time to me, helping me to build confidence, overcome my learning difficulties, to believe in myself and my capabilities, and to gain motivation.

The areas I think were most useful was when doing the course, I would get a call from time to time to see how I was finding the course. This helped me in a positive way because I didn’t feel alone when doing the course and it let me talk about problems I would be facing.

…This journey has had an impact on my life because I found it hard to find a suitable job which lowered my confidence and my motivation. However this journey has given me an opportunity to get my SIA badge which I thought I’d never be doing. This has given me the mindset to be able to trust myself and believe in my capabilities in doing this course. Also, a goal-setting mind-set has made me want to become a door supervisor, with me now knowing what I want and willing to achieve my goal.

Click here to visit Catch22’s website.