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Suited for Success is partnering with Maverick Sounds to engage with unemployed young people aged 18-24 to explore employment, skills and training aspirations using urban music production as an engagement tool.

Towards the end of 2022 Suited for Success worked in partnership with Birmingham based Maverick Sounds to run a pilot employment project to engage with unemployed young people, to explore employment, skills and training aspirations, using urban music production as an engagement tool.


Funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority Jobs and Skills Academy as part of the B2022 Commonwealth Games, the aim of the pilot employment project was to engage with young people who often don't connect with mainstream support and at risk of involvement with crime;  develop life skills, build connections and gaining knowledge that will help them move into employment or training.


Music and employment preparation

Over 3 weeks the project included a mix of interactive music workshops with employment preparation. Participants gained practical lyric writing skills, music production and engineering including several days at a professional music studio in Digbeth (A Class Studios), whilst exploring everything from barriers into work, confidence building, self-esteem and identity to mental health, being stereotyped, also social and presentation skills.


The days at Suited for Success included individualised employment support, one-to-one coaching, employment support and preparing for job interviews with the provision of a FREE interview suit and accessories.

Also included was a visit to BBC Birmingham where the group met BBC staff and TV/Radio presenters, and inspirational talks from a Goldman Sachs senior director and a successful music artist.

Dark to light - Part 2

Maverick Sounds supported the young group to write, produce and film for a two part music track about the issues they feel they face being stereotyped, barriers they face into employment and their future aspirations. Dark to Light Part 1 is a gritty urban track articulating what life is like for them on the inner-city streets of Birmingham and Dark to Light Part 2 is about their future aspirations after being supported by our employment project.


Watch the Dark to Light Part 2 music video below.

The project was a great opportunity to explore ideas and step away from our normal employment support, meet young people where they're at and get real insight into their backgrounds, thoughts and aspirations. Throughout the programme we gave the young group opportunities to articulate what they felt their barriers were into employment through a number of informal group sessions in the music studio or at Suited for Success or just chatting over pizzas.

Dreams, careers and aspirations

Listen to the group talk in an interview conversation about their aspirations growing up, challenges they face as young people, being stereotyped, future aspirations and feedback on doing the project.

Standing Out with Maverick Sounds 

The aim of the programme was to broaden the horizons of the young people away from their usual environments and start the conversation about employment or what the working world could look like for them. Even just being dressed smart ready for a job interview helped changed perceptions.

Partnering with Maverick Sounds

When establishing working partnerships, we look for organisations that allow us to provide an alternative or innovative solution to a need, that allow us to reach a group that we have found difficult to engage previously and who bring additional skills and experience whilst still enabling us to provide the same high quality and individualised employment support.

Maverick Sounds fulfil all these requirements. They have over 10 years experience of using music production to connect with and benefit disadvantaged and underrepresented groups including those from BAME backgrounds, prisoners and ex offenders. This partnership gives us the opportunity to reach and support young people who often don’t connect with mainstream support but, by utilising the skills that Maverick Sounds bring to the project we are able to build a connection and facilitate support that will enable these men to progress successfully on their employment journey

With a shared aspiration and vision with Maverick sounds to work in partnership to support this demographic of young people, we are over the moon to pull together an employment programme we can build on and develop.

Taking Suited for Success into the heart of communities

We’re also looking forward to our new bus playing a big part in taking Suited for Success right into the heart of communities explore more ideas to engage with the unemployed working in partnership with grassroot charities, community groups and frontline services.


Really exciting plans ahead! Read more about our Suited for Success bus project.

In pictures

From visiting the BBC, on set filming in Digbeth or getting dressed for success. See more pictures taken throughout the project by Maverick Sounds.


Maverick Sounds - Breaking the Cycle through music 

West Midlands Combined Authority

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