We are a charity that offers pre-employment training, apprenticeships and support for disadvantaged and disengaged young people, vulnerable women and families in East London.

We tackle the root causes of unemployment and poverty head on, through a range of services including employment training and apprenticeship schemes, parenting groups and community events. We were started in 1999 with a specific focus on Tower Hamlets. Over the years we have grown to work with people from across London, though our core focus remains in East London.

Alongside our partners and volunteers, we help transform local communities and bring hope for the future.

Who we work with

Tower Hamlets is the most deprived borough in the UK. Over half of children in Tower Hamlets are growing up in poverty; over a quarter in extreme poverty. More than four in 10 live in households where no one works. Statistics from the surrounding boroughs of Hackney and Newham where we work tell a similar story. At City Gateway, we want to make these statistics history.

Many of the young people we connect with are at risk of long-term unemployment, as well as gang violence, crime, drugs and sexual exploitation. Through our range of programmes, we help them build the confidence and skills they need to overcome these risks and break the cycle of poverty.

We support local women to get into education or work, offering language teaching, skills training and childcare, to help tackle isolation by giving them a place to belong. We also support families trapped in poverty and offer affordable high quality childcare to families to give children the best start in life and help parents secure employment.

Our Services

Please see the range of services that City Gateway offers below.

Vocational Training for Young People 
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All the young people we work with are not in education, employment or training (NEET) or are at risk of becoming so. We are passionate about helping young people progress in life, whatever their starting point. We offer a range of tailored programmes, based on individual interests, skills and experience. We partner with local employers, we build our learners confidence and develop the skills they need to get, and keep, a job that’s right for them. However they prefer to learn, we provide direct progression routes tailored to them, focused on getting them into employment.

Our Progression Routes

Key Stage 4

Not every young person thrives in mainstream education, so we offer a programme of full- and part-time courses for pupils in Years 10 and 11. Our high quality vocational training includes personal development, work experience and work tours.

Pre-employment Training
Our 16-19 training includes a range of free, specialist training courses designed to prepare young people for employment. Career options include Business Administration, Customer Service, Childcare or Sports Fitness.

Skills for Employment
We also offer adult training for 18-24 year olds looking to kick-start their career. Our Skills for Employment programme includes free courses in Accountancy, IT, Customer Service and Sports Fitness.

Real jobs with personalised training, our Apprenticeships are a chance to earn, gain qualifications and get vital experience in the workplace. We work with over 200 businesses, large and small. Recent apprentices have been placed everywhere from Standard Chartered to Metro Bank, and from the London Stock Exchange Group to NSPCC.

All our learners complete a six-week employability programme first, making sure they’re ready to make the most of this life-changing opportunity.

Find out about training with us or Find out more about hiring Apprentices

Alternative Provision School
In 2012 we opened, City Gateway 14-19 Provision, a unique alternative provision for 14-19 year olds in Tower Hamlets. The first of its kind in London, the school offers an alternative option for young people who aren’t getting on in mainstream education. Here they can choose vocational courses and different progression routes into work, as well as getting support with other issues affecting their lives. We’re the only provider of this type of alternative school to be rated Outstanding by Ofsted. We have plans for two new sites in 2016, in the London Boroughs of Newham and Hackney.

Find out more about City Gateway 14-19 Provision

Informal Education and Youth Work
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At City Gateway we offer young people the space and support they need to make positive changes in their lives.

Our youth centres, based in Tower Hamlets and The City of London, are safe places where young people can go to meet up, learn new skills and enjoy activities such as sports, arts and music and DJing.

Once they feel at home, they can talk in confidence to our trained staff. As well as finding out about learning opportunities, training and employment, they can get one-to-one support with issues like sexual health, drugs, relationships and family problems. Our staff can also arrange for support for the whole family.

We have teams of outreach workers who go out into the community, to areas where young people spend their time, and let them know about the programmes we offer.

Young Leaders

We believe that every young person has the right to have their voice heard and to play a role in making decisions that affect them. That’s what inspired our Young Leaders programme, now a crucial part of what we do at City Gateway. After a short training course, Young Leaders are ready to help staff make decisions at every level, develop session plans and give regular feedback and advice. Their input and ideas shape the future of all our services. And, as they inspire and motivate the young people on our programmes, they learn vital skills to take to the workplace.

Find out more about our youth centres

Women's Project
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Employment training and help to find jobs; childcare; life skills; friendship and support. These are just a few of the ways we help women from the local community in Tower Hamlets at our City Gateway Women’s Project.

We work with over 1,000 women every year. We help them overcome the many barriers preventing them getting work and accessing vital local services, whether they need English language classes, help with Maths or IT or support with health or family problems.

Our Women’s Project training courses cover everything from work skills to childcare, keep fit to business admin. There’s also confidence building and public speaking classes and opportunities to volunteer in the local community and help other women get education, training and support.

We also provide free information, advice and guidance through our weekly Advice Café.

We work in partnership with local schools and children’s centres, women’s refuges and health centres to connect women with the support they need.

Find out more about the Women's Project

Families Project and Nurseries
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Our Children and Families Project focuses on supporting families now and achieving lasting change for future generations.

We run an Ofsted registered sessional nursery, Gateway Tots, providing the highest quality early years education. We also offer parents a range of support covering the whole of family life, from parenting classes through to housing support and careers advice.

Our services improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being – like Meal Clubs with free nutritional meals for children aged two to five, and healthy lifestyle training for parents.

There’s a Family Advice Café where parents of children at our after school club can drop in for information on employment, training, finances and other local sources of support and advice.

Our support workers can arrange home visits for the most socially excluded families who find it hard to trust mainstream social services.

We also help people to play an active role in their communities. As part of our commitment to lasting change, we train people to become Parent Champions and mentor other parents.

Find out more about the Families Project and Nursery
Social Enterprises
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Our social enterprises bring huge benefits to the people we work with – and the local communities they live in. They give our students and apprentices on the job training in a true business environment. They also provide good quality, value for money services to local people. All the money they make helps run our thriving social enterprise programme.

We have four social enterprises:

Kitchen 32 - community café
We’ve now created a local community café where our young people can get training and work experience in a vibrant café environment. Our café serves a tasty selection of hot and cold food using only the freshest seasonal ingredients.

Gateway Motion – gym and personal training
In partnership with No1 Fitness, we offer a fully-equipped public gym at our Limehouse Youth Centre. Our sports course learners and apprentices can use the space to set up their own personal training businesses.

Flavour Gateway – café and catering
This social enterprise runs our onsite café for learners and staff, a café open to the public, plus a corporate catering business offering buffets and snacks to local clients.

Beauty Gateway – beauty therapy
Beauty Gateway was set up to offer work experience and job opportunities in beauty therapy and business to marginalised women. It offers manicures, massages and makeovers for local people and businesses.

Partnerships with the Business Community
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We change the lives of young people, women and families across East London. But we don’t do it alone. We partner with over 200 City firms and skilled professionals, as well as other community groups, charities, schools, faith organisations, social enterprises and public sector organisations. Their support is vital. And it’s why we’ve seen such amazing changes in the young people we work with – and across East London.

Apprenticeships, volunteering and sponsorship
Our business partners support us through:
• Taking on an apprentice or providing a work placement
• Volunteering their time to help with training, presentations and work tours
• Mentoring – sharing skills and experience, and giving young people the chance to work with adults they wouldn't usually meet
• Sponsoring courses, events and activities
• Fundraising, so we can continue to provide life-changing support.

“The impact of outstanding links with corporate organisations has resulted in innovative initiatives, such as ‘Adopt a Course’, in which business professionals collaborate with staff to develop and deliver the curriculum.”
OFSTED, Further Education and Skills inspection report 2014

Find out about partnering with us