Take a look inside

Take a Look Inside...

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Developing our people

We have incredible employees who are passionate about OnSide and the opportunities Youth Zones offer young people. They know our values and culture, and bring them to life every day through their work. These talented people are central to our ability to succeed, and we invest in their future through focussed professional development.

We created the Talent Academy to provide training and development opportunities for colleagues from OnSide and across the Network and to recognise and develop outstanding performers.

The Talent Academy is something we’re really proud of. It is supported by OnSide and Youth Zone Senior Management and ensures all employees can contribute to the best of their ability, by providing development opportunities that benefit OnSide, individual Youth Zones, and the whole Network.

It has taught me how to make our Youth Zone more welcoming and more inclusive.

Talent Academy programmes

Our award winning Talent Academy was launched in 2017 to develop excellence across OnSide and the Network. Since then, 500 employees have taken part in over 20 different programmes. As a result of their training and development, we have seen employees progressing to brand new positions in both their Youth Zone and in other Youth Zones in the Network. At OnSide, we encourage and support personal development. Individual needs are discussed, and the Talent Academy provide a bespoke training offer to meet the needs of the OnSide team, with recent training covering unconscious bias, coaching and safeguarding.

Learn more about the Talent Academy's impact
  • Learn about OnSide's Princess Royal Training Award


Short masterclasses support our people with specific development areas. Recent masterclasses have covered project management, mental health and street-based youth work. These are run by either the OnSide team or external training providers.

OnSide's Talent Academy Masterclasses

Aspiring Leaders

A 12 month programme that develops outstanding performers from across the network who have the leadership potential to progress to the role of Chief Executive or Youth Work Manager. Aspiring Leaders consists of leadership modules, coaching, and a placement in another Youth Zone.

OnSide's Talent Academy Aspiring Leaders programme

Effective People Manager Programme

A four month programme created to help develop great people management skills. Aimed at those who are new to line management. The Effective People Manager Programme covers topics including the transition from friend to manager, leadership/management principles and communication. Each participant is matched with mentor to support with their individual needs.

OnSide's Talent Academy Effective People Management programme

Level 3 Diploma in Youth Work Practice

The Youth Work Diploma provides youth workers with the skills and knowledge needed to become a competent and qualified Lead Youth Support Worker. Designed and accredited by the National Youth Agency, the Diploma supports Youth Workers to promote young people’s personal and social development, It enables young people to have a voice, influence and place in their communities and society as a whole.

OnSide's Talent Academy Level 3 Diploma in Youth Work Practice

Board Development

A series of modules that help Youth Zone Boards to effectively execute their duties as they drive the Youth Zone forward, governing it in accordance with legislation and good practice. Board members gain greater insight into their duties as a trustee, how the Board of a great Youth Zone should operate, how they can best support their Youth Zone and how they can maximise effectiveness in their role.

Latest News...

OnSide’s Talent Academy: Our Aspiring Leaders Graduate!

27th April 2022 by OnSide

Our fourth cohort of exceptional participants from across the OnSide Network have successfully graduated from OnSide's Talent Academy Aspiring Leaders Programme. Seven members from across…

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Developing youth work talent

16th September 2021 by Steve Anderton, Lead Youth Worker at The Hive, Wirral Youth Zone

I’ve been a youth worker for several years and in that time I’ve developed an instinctive understanding for how best to support young people based…

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