Mark HiltonBy Mark Hilton | CEO

When I joined Adviza, I shared my personal view that society is becoming increasingly iniquitous, and that it is therefore increasingly important for organisations like ours to reach people who fall out of the system. Six months on I feel that even more strongly. 

I am privileged to work with such a committed, inspiring team, and proud to stand by our mission to make a positive difference for all young people and adults so they have the best possible chance to progress successfully in learning and work.

And while Adviza’s mission is robust and admirable, I believe we can redefine our vision so that we can reach more people, and I want to explain why.

Adviza is (almost uniquely) well-placed to facilitate positive social impact in our communities. Thanks to our partnerships with other charities, local authorities, educational institutions and employers, we are at the hub of many local support networks.

Meanwhile, our widespread portfolio of services means we interact with a huge number of individuals at different stages of their journey to greater opportunity.

These factors give us a powerful overview of the scale of the need we serve, and the support landscape that exists to address that need.

And what are we seeing? The inescapable conclusion is that there are thousands of individuals still far-removed from, or invisible to, that support network. We want to do more to support people who are not yet ready for jobs and skills training.

The individuals I am talking about can be two steps away from being absorbed into the process of developing skills and finding work. Firstly, they must be found. Then they need to be welcomed into the arena of skills and employability development in a way that eases their future progress regardless of the barriers they face.

Adviza can make a big difference here; it is part of our DNA to develop resilience, competence and confidence in people alongside specific skills and qualifications.

In doing so, we can help people transition from being completely outside of the system to people whose lives are changed.

I am wary of using labels to talk about our customers in a piece like this because their problems are personal and go beyond demographics, but we work with people who can barely get onto the street—or sometimes off the street—due to crippling anxiety, social exclusion, cultural and social taboos, addiction or the raft of problems that go with an uneven society. Some have been excluded at school and don’t want to go near anything that feels like an institution. Adviza doesn’t feel like an institution and isn’t one: we’re a personable organisation that, anecdotally and based on customer feedback, feels like a supportive team of individuals. But we are at the centre of a huge network. 

I believe we have an opportunity to combine our footprint within the community and our integrated services to significant effect. We can identify and support people who are outside of the system, providing cradle to grave support that brings them closer to employability at a pace they are comfortable with. Adviza is at the centre, able to coalesce disparate support mechanisms, including over 500 employers, to create a platform for change.

This work provides a huge social and financial value to individuals and to society: we can help to take people out of a spiralling decline and remove the burden of unemployment on local authorities.

Needless to say, Adviza will continue to build and enhance all our services, but we are committed to ensuring we reach those beyond the net of existing provision—the point where the most pervading barriers to opportunity remain. 


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1st November 2023