Cradle to Career brings together residents, local services, professionals, and community leaders to build a brighter future for the children and young people of North Birkenhead
SHINE has joined forces with partners across the public, private and charity sector for a ground-breaking initiative to transform the lives of children and young people in the Merseyside community of North Birkenhead.
Described as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’, Cradle to Career aims to boost literacy, support families and create opportunities for residents for up to 20 years.
The programme follows a major consultation which found that although residents are proud to live in North Birkenhead – known locally as the North End – they feel a lack of opportunities and jobs are holding the community back.
In Birkenhead as a whole, there are only 0.62 jobs for every person aged between 16 and 65 – the third lowest of 162 areas nationally. Around half of children in North Birkenhead live in low-income households, three times the national average.
Cradle to Career aims to tackle the inequalities and is one of the most ambitious public-private partnerships ever launched in the UK.
North Birkenhead parent Karen Beazley said Cradle to Career had the potential to create the future she’d always dreamed of for the community’s young people.
In 2019 Karen was one of several mums to tell MPs at a joint hearing between the Education and DWP Select Committee of the constant struggle to make ends meet.
She said: “The opportunities a child gets in life shouldn’t be determined by where they’re born but that’s been the case for too many people in North Birkenhead for too long.
“Cradle to Career offers genuine hope for the first time in generations. The talent is there but it needs a chance. This could give them that chance.”