His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales opened a new Prince’s Trust  Morgan Stanley Centre in Tower Hamlets today to tackle youth unemployment in East London.

The centre, funded by Morgan Stanley, will help hundreds of unemployed young people every year to gain the skills and confidence to work – and access job opportunities in nearby employment hubs like Canary Wharf and Stratford.

Greeted by pupils from nearby secondary school, St Paul’s Way Trust School, The Prince met young people at the centre who have received support from his youth charity to turn their lives around.

He took part in a range of activities – from helping to cook a vegetable stir fry to watching a superhero themed task – which help young people at the centre to build their confidence and team-building skills and help them take their first steps towards a job or training opportunity.

Afterwards, The Prince chaired a discussion with a group of young people about the challenges faced by young people growing up in East London.

Currently, more than one in five young people (22%) in Tower Hamlets are unemployed. Across East London, more than 21,000 young people are struggling to find work.

The Centre is the result of a two year charity partnership between The Prince’s Trust and Morgan Stanley, during which time Morgan Stanley employees helped to raise over £1.5million to create the Centre in Poplar.

Tanguy Viaud, 25 from Newham, took part in the discussion with His Royal Highness. When he was younger, Tanguy started taking cannabis and got into trouble with the police. He ended up serving a prison sentence before getting help from The Trust to turn his life around.

He approached The Prince’s Trust for a Get Started with Fashion course. After the course, Tanguy had the opportunity to pursue a highly selective men’s tailoring apprenticeship, on Saville Row. After a completely honest and open interview, he was offered a place. Tanguy continues to train on Saville Row and is now a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador for the charity, helping inspire other young people to get the support they need to turn their lives around.

He said: 

Growing up in East London, I knew too many young people like me who felt hopeless about the future, struggling with difficult situations and not knowing where to turn for help.

He continued: "The new Prince’s Trust Morgan Stanley Centre in Poplar is amazing because it gives young people here a place to go and people they can rely on for support. I think it’s going to make a massive difference to people growing up here."

Over the next year, we're aiming to support at least 550 young people through the new centre and give a boost to its local community, as Dermot Finch, regional director for the South of England explains in his  blog.

Colm Kelleher, President of Institutional Securities and CEO of Morgan Stanley International. said:

Morgan Stanley and its employees have been proud to partner with The Trust for the past two years to create this lasting legacy for future generations of young people in East London.

He continued: "We look forward to continuing to work alongside The Prince’s Trust through employee engagement and volunteering opportunities.”

Earlier in the day, The Prince visited another of our projects run with retailer Marks & Spencer which helps unemployed young people find work in the retail industry.

His Royal Highness also later attended Our Young People: Our Future at St James’s Palace, a conference which brings together 150 of our closest supporters, funders, trustees and executive leadership members ahead of the charity’s 40th anniversary to discuss key issues facing young people and what we pcan do to help. 

These engagements were filmed for a new landmark ITV documentary, presented by duo Ant and Dec, who are following HRH The Prince of Wales as he looks forward to the 40th anniversary of The Prince’s Trust. The 90-minute special will air on ITV in 2016.