Tim Henman Foundation

Career Path Programme
with DoTraining

Nearly 3/4 of a million 16-24 year-olds are NEET in England (not in education, employment or training). This is 11.3% of all young people, and up 1% from the same time last year.

What are the issues?

Three different participants, three different barriers to long-term employment.

One immigrant child seeking a non-traditional career path feels that “in a male dominated industry, it is hard to be taken seriously or find a job”.  Another had an indifferent childhood, with admittedly some poor behaviour, but developed a strong desire and determination for a first class education, then found himself trying to do it “without financial resources”.  And the other suffered from undiagnosed special educational needs resulting in “anxiety” but was determined to make a success out of himself.

All three were referred to us by our partner DoTraining, a coaching provider delivering expert strength and conditioning training to elite athletes based at the University of East London.  All three participants are from, on average, the bottom 27% most deprived areas in England.

What they all possessed in desire to progress their career path, they lacked in financial resources and further support.

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What are the issues?

There are 1,129,843 pupils with SEND in England, which is an increase of 4.3% since 2021 and 14% since 2016. The most common types of difficulties faced are speech, language and communication problems, followed by social, emotional and mental health issues, moderate and specific learning difficulties and autistic spectrum disorder.

For the majority of these students and their families, life can be hard. Disabled households face on average £975 a month in extra costs and the link between disability and poverty is clear; 27% of working age disabled people live in poverty, compared to 19% of non-disabled people.

There is also an activity gap. Disabled people are almost twice as likely to be physically inactive compared to non-disabled people (42.4% vs 22.6%) and 77% of disabled people would like to be more active but only 42% feel they have the opportunity to do so. At school, only a quarter of disabled children say they take part in sport and activity frequently, compared to 41% of non-disabled people. 

The Career Path Programme

The programme is designed to increase chances of future employment, to set them up so they are job ready.

  • They received three vocational qualifications each – gym instructing, personal training and more specific strength and conditioning courses. 100% said they “would not have been able to afford these qualifications was it not for the funding”.
  • 130 hours of paid work experience in the gym.  This was really beneficial in putting the theory into practice, and being paid helped to  “support the increase in the cost of living” and so “I was able to fund travel to the internship”.
  • Mentoring in the form of an eight-week personal development course.
  • Employment readiness workshops on self-employment, how to invoice, CV writing and interview skills.
  • 100% suggest the mentoring and workshops are a vital form of support, but the majority have never received help before regarding these sorts of skills. 

“My biggest achievement is being able to confidently coach all the athletes competently because, at the start, I didn’t have the confidence and knowledge that I do have now”.


We found that this programme boosted their career path by 36%.

After six-months on the programme; one of the participants is already in full-time employment, another is moving into full-time education in the form of a degree and the other is going to continue for a second year on this programme.

In the long-term, we hope all three will be in full-time paid employment.

“I was provided with much needed support that has allowed me to make real, tangible progress towards my career goals in a matter of months”.

* Facts and figures were sourced from: ons.gov.uk, and our own feedback forms