HSBC - The Opportunity Partnership

The Employment for Excluded Groups Award, Shortlisted, 2016

More than 21,000 jobless young people have been helped into employment or training by the Opportunity Partnership, a £30m scheme run by HSBC in collaboration with charities.

Good for society

  • Over 21,000 unemployed young people have gone into education, training or employment since the start of the programme.
  • The programme helps young adults improve both their specific skillsets and their general work aptitude.

Good for business

  • More than 749 existing employees developed their skills by volunteering more than 3,600 hours to the project’s charity partners.
  • Being at the forefront of this large programme helped bolster HSBC’s reputation within local communities.

HSBC logo

The Opportunity Partnership was set up by HSBC bank in April 2013 to help young people find a route into employment.

The bank worked with four employment and training charities, Catch 22, St Giles Trust, The Prince’s Trust and Tomorrow’s People, to connect disadvantaged young people with work-ready opportunities. The scheme also helped the young adults develop confidence and skills to demonstrate to employers that they were potential future employees.

The ambitious plan was to get 25,000 disadvantaged young people aged 16-25 into education, training or employment within the three-year life of the programme. Disadvantaged groups included those who had been unemployed for over a year, ex-offenders, care leavers and school leavers lacking qualifications. 

Following the economic downturn, there were over a million unemployed young people in Britain so getting a foot on the career ladder was extremely difficult for an entire generation. 

More than 45,000 young people have been involved in the scheme and almost half of these (21,105) have gone onto work, education or training. Of those completing the course, 10,280 have improved functional skills such as literacy, numeracy and IT skills while a further 7,645 gained accredited vocational qualifications. 

Over the course of all the programmes, the charities also work with the young people to improve their life skills such as communication, team work and confidence. 

Staff at the bank have been very involved with the programme and over 749 employees have volunteered 3,678 hours of their time to the scheme’s charity partners. This has helped develop the skills of existing HSBC employees and improves staff retention. 

What HSBC UK's Head of Bank said:

 “I am proud to be supporting this new Partnership. With the right support, we can help disadvantaged young people find fulfilling opportunities through education, training and work. HSBC has a long history of supporting the communities in which we operate. We want to help young people who feel that the job market is out of reach find direction for the future. They can act as a positive influence on their peers and families and contribute to the long-term economic development and prosperity of communities throughout the UK.” - Antonio Simoes, Head of HSBC Bank UK

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