Minutes Of Meeting 21st October 2015

All-Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Employment

Welcome – Chloe Smith MP

Chair and introductions, agenda

Laura-Jane Rawlings – Youth Employment UK

Stewart Segal – AELP

Christina Stone – Pearson

Stuart Jackson MP

Frank Funnell – The Brokerage CityLink

London Youth

Rosey Simmonds – Peace Child

Jenny Barnes – Centre Point

Andre Chickro – MYP

Stephen Twigg MP

Kenechi Eziefula – Youth Employment UK

Marcus Mason – British Chambers of Commerce

Robin Walker MP

Michael Tomlinson MP

  • Reference to website
  • Request for information and notification of events
  • Call to invite members/visitors to bring a young person
  • MP’s and Peers to bring in a young person and a business from constituency

Chloe Smith: Statistics ae available on the ONS site. Let’s head into APPG presentations.

Monthly Stats: Youth Claimant Count for September – 3% down from 3.1% last month and down 3.9% on year

ONS Figures – June to August 14.8% down from 15.9% previous quarter and down from 16% on year, down from the 2011 22.5%

-Begin Presentations-


Beth Gardner – Fair Train (A national charity supporting employers and learning providers aim to increase quantity and quality of work experience)

BCC 76.7% of business site work experience reason young people can’t find work but only 1 in 4 businesses over it

Young people with 4 or more work experiences are less likely to be unemployed and have higher wages.

WEX – apprenticeships, traineeships, internships, volunteering, work experience

WEX has a massive positive experience – 1 million engagements in WEX week

WEX Quality Standard – recognises org offering high quality work experiences, young people will have a quality experience.

Framework for development for organisations wishing to improve/develop work experience

Fair Train want to work with APPG and Partners

Full Text

“The British Chamber of Commerce says that 76% of businesses claim that lack of work experience is why young people are not in work. But barely any business offer work experience. Those with work experience get better degrees, wages and better employment. Fair Train helps young people get into work. We need to champion the benefits of work experience. We want to improve the quality of work experience for young people. When we use the term work experience, this means all forms, including apprenticeships, traineeships, voluntary, etc. Last week was national work experience week. Matt did National Grid work experience and was passionate speaking about work experience. Kelly spoke in front of audience at business, she has spec educational needs and said work experience makes her feel the same as the rest of her family. It has improved her self-confidence and aspirations. Tariq took work experience placement in IT, and has now got a permanent work placement. Case after case shows that work experience improves the life of young people all over the country. Fair Train’s Work Experience Quality Standard is a recognised national accreditation that recognises work experience around the country and managed the risks of training programs, making sure that they are good quality. All organisations around the country can use the accreditation, and many important ones already do. Good for aspirational organisations to use to use to tailor to needs of the young people in their own business. Fair train does the Work Experience Week which gives promotion to the benefits of work experience. Work experience week is set up to make sure that high quality work experience is developed and delivered. Fair Train would love to work with the APPG and the organisations in this APPG to improve the quality of work experience, and begin planning for Work Experience Week 2016.”

Kate Shoesmith – REC


3,500 members

Recruiters know what is happening in the jobs market

Monthly report on jobs – staff appointments and job vacancies increasing for temp and perm. The issue is that recruiters cannot fill the roles, across every single sector there is a problem.

Work experience is a key to developing the skills for young people and helping them understand the range of opportunities for young people.

Baroness Processor led on the REC Taskforce – still running on 5 years

Pertemps – Supporting National Grid – ManPower helping to find over 3000 apprenticeship vacancies


WECan campaign from DWP supported by REC and YEUK – important message is what young people get from experiences, all experiences can be useful, all those experience can add to the employability of a young person. Young people need to share what they have learnt from wex is very influential peer-to-peer

Really difficult to get into schools, not the fault of teachers they have clear outcomes for academic. WEX needs to be mandatory so it is easy for schools to engage with.

Then we can help employers improve the quality of the experience, using tools such as Top Trumps etc. Make it as easy as possible. It needs to be part of the curriculum.

Full Text

“I am Kate Shoesmith, Head of Policy at the Recruitment and Employment Federation. We have 3500 companies in our membership. Recruiters know all about job market, specialise in particular sectors, and so collect a lot of job data. We therefore do a monthly report on jobs that tells us where all are at. Data on slides shows effect of recession, the massive dip, an increase, then a double dip, and now we are back up again. Currently there are a lot of jobs available, for permanent and temporary jobs. But the problem recruiters cannot find people who can do these jobs. In every single sector of the economy, there is a problem. Nurses, chefs, drivers, etc, in all sectors there is a problem. It is a huge problem for employers, not just an educational problem. It is not good enough to sit and say we need to focus on education system, and we need to make sure employers get involved as many of us are already doing. In 2010 we officially started a work employment task force, although it existed before that. Baroness Prosser kindly agreed to chair it, thinking she would chair for a year, getting recruiters and employers interested in careers education, work experience placements. 5 years later she still chairs as it is a long term ongoing problem. This is why we believe the APPG is so important and why we participate with Youth Employment UK. We support National Grid to find people, as Beth has referred to National Grid earlier, one of our members Pertemps helps facilitate their work in this field, along with another member ManPower. I still feel that there are good and positive things going on but there must be more done. When the Department of Work and Pensions asked to do the WE Can campaign alongside Youth Employment UK, we got involved as we thought it was a really good idea, promoting what young people get out of work experience. Agree that we need high quality work ex experience, but let’s not dismiss the notion that all work experience is useful, even working in a corner shop, the more experiences you get the more useful. All of it adds to a picture that adds to your employability. It also tells you what you don’t want to do in life. We want to see young people tell us about what they liked and disliked in work experience, as we do videos of this, and these videos of our young staff members talking are the most viewed for our business site. They have far more views than the video of our Chief Executive saying ‘we want employers’! It’s great to see the view of someone coming in as a young person. We find it very difficult to get into schools, and we are not criticising schools or the education system and certainly not teachers who have many other priorities, but it needs to be into schools and made a fundamental part of system as it will help improve results. Another thing we struggle with is making it easy as possible for employers once they are engaged with schools, colleges and training providers, we need work with employers to make sure that what is offered is worthwhile and gives worth to young people and makes them employable. We have worked alongside an organisation called Worktree to make a Top Trumps type game to develop this in a fun and useful way. We all need to ensure that these ways to make it easy for employers exist and schools can offer that. Need schools to offer this as part of curriculum.”

Yolande Burges – London Councils

Umbrella body of all the borough councils.


Important for young people to have a consistent approach to careers education and WEX. The London Ambition report identifies good practice and support for young people, needs to start in primary.

7 recommendations

  • All schools and colleges to ensure young people have access to IAG
  • Every school to have a governor with responsibility to ensure every student from youngest age have experiences of the world of work
  • Every school has an explicit and publicise policy and careers curriculum
    • Up to date labour market intelligence
    • EU Funded Careers Colleges
    • London Ambitions Portal – network for professionals
  • 100 hours of experiences of the world of work for all young people, captuared through a digital portfolio


From age of 7 – embedded in the curriculum

  • Role Model Visits
  • Understanding work through play
  • Options
  • Curriculum integration
  • Enterprise, education college and university visits
  • More traditional work experience


A quality work experience opportunity can be drive by a young person by themselves

London Council and London Enterprise panel, allows for joint work – Jack Morris for Chair

Dr Deidre Hughes Careers Curriculum

What gets measured gets done – Measuring GCSE and A’Level suggests less value

If you embed really good careers – young people enjoy the curriculum more, attain better, own their learning more = results.

London Ambitions – Scaleable.

Full Text

“Good morning, my name is Yolande Burges, I work for an organisation called London Councils. London Councils is an umbrella body that works with all constituencies boroughs in the city of London. And continuing beautifully from Kate, we want to make sure that young people have consistent offer in terms of careers. Need to take Beth and Kate’s view and stretch it even further. For me and people a lot cleverer than me, we believe that experience of the world of work starts in primary school. This is where London Ambitions comes in, and it is names so because it is very ambitious. We want London ambition programme to be in all schools in London in next 5 years. Just to quickly take you through London Ambitions, critically, we came up with key set of 7 recommendations Many of these are no-brainer recommendations. We want all schools and colleges to have access to impartial independent good careers advice. All schools have a governor with responsibility in ensuring that from the youngest age possible young people have experience of the world of work. All young people should be able to experience world of work – we too spent 2.5 hours to decide between term “work experience” or “experience of world of world”! We think this is a bigger more rounded view. Make sure that all schools have governors with responsibilities but that all parents can curriculum so they can see the agenda. We, London Councils, London EnterprisePanel, fully supported by Mayor of London, need to make sure schools have updated labour market details so they can talk to young people about exactly what is going on in their local areas. We are going to use some European Social Funding to set up careers clusters, along with the AELP make sure clusters are set up to generate experiences, learning and activity around London. We will also be setting up the London Ambitions Portal for all involved to talk to each other, and it is also a network for schools and employers to talk and advise each other. The last big recommendation is that we want at least 100 hours experience of world of work for all young people, from the earliest age, with this activity captured for their digital portfolio so journey can be followed. We are not trying to shove children down chimneys! From age of 7 what we want to see embedded in curriculum is how we talk to young people about education and world of work, understanding work through play. As they get older they can begin learning about options, learning about obligations, role model visits, no binary options – we must start giving young people explore more career options from young ages. After this we can move to more traditional work experience model after this. If they have this, then after having their work experience then they may be able to put themselves forward for much more and be more assertive in job market. Picking up on Kate’s point and Beth’s as well, quality work experience placements can be driven by young people themselves. If they had London Ambitions from a young age, they’ll be more likely and ready to be able to go out and get work experience by themselves. We need to educate young people about the transition periods as much as possible, which is where we are coming from when we are asking for 100 hours of experience of the world of work. From working with London Councils and the London Enterprise Panel, is that the latter brings employers with them. This is a joint project being headed up a joint project, also with the Skills and Employment Working Group of the London Enterprise Panel co-chair, Jack Morris who is also the Head of Business Design Group. He is very passionate about this and the best advocate we have in terms of employers In addition to recommendations, we have very practical tool, as we had Dr. Deira Hughes, who did an amazing job of putting together careers curriculum from age of 7. Schools have been very impressed and happy to see that it can be done. This shows that this can be embedded in curriculum. We live in world where what gets measured gets done. What this does is promote belief that only GCSE results and A-Level results and such like are to be focused on and have worth. This needs to change. When young people enjoy their education more, they get better results and have higher attendance. What this meeting needs to do is change this mentality. London Ambitions is totally scalable for other cities in the UK as well. Thank you.”

Presentations End

Chloe Smith MP: Thank you to our speakers, there is plenty of food for thought there. Would anybody like to raise any questions?


Frank Funnell – endorsed London Ambitions as being really practical, we need to see the point of education. You can’t have one without the other.

Full Text

“I like this idea. I have seen many others and thought that they don’t work but this can. Many young people who are hopeless in school do very well in work experience. It is very important to get people to understand that work experience works both ways in school and work. It’s very important to get the knowledge out there that it works both ways, both education and practical work.”


Stephen Twigg MP – Really exciting, can see London Ambitions being adopted in Liverpool. Policy has struggled with this. Breaking down the barriers is important and this work has the potential.

Schools need the confidence, one school in constituency has a brilliant approach, and students get a passport of careers learning.

What would be the measurement that the government can enforce that? Destination data is one of the measures.

YB – Sits on national steering group the destination work is improving. Talk to C&E Co re passport. Schools.

Doesn’t cost – forms part of embedding

Full Text

“I echo that really. I think it is really exciting. Thanks to all speakers, but particularly following up from Yolande’s presentation – I am an MP in Liverpool and can see what you’ve described been adopted as Liverpool Ambitions or Merseyside Ambitions. Breaking down the barriers between world of education and world of work is how we move forward, and policy makers have been too narrow. Just two points on schools. I think it is about schools having the confidence to do things like that. I have a school in Liverpool, Cardinal Heelan, a Catholic Boys’ school, comprehensive, that has a brilliant approach to this, with a careers passport from age 11, and fitting work experience into that, and I forever talk about them doing it, but I don’t think other schools are following their example. So we need to think about, and this is where we policy makers and legislators come in, is to think about how to get others to do that. So we need to think about destination outcomes and an indicator as one of the ways to get schools to do this. I also agree with experience starting from age 7 and not 11.

Yolande Burges: We can pilot these things in London then scale up. Your examples, on schools that are struggling, we do highlight that it can be done.

Laura-Jane Rawlings: And affordable. Many schools say they cannot afford to do it and have no budget, but some schools are charged £60 per pupil currently for careers advice and work experience. Having this is more cost effective.


Michael Tomlinson MP  – Excited, general introduction can see how it can be done in Dorset in primary. Link governor key point.

Full Text

Michael Tomlinson MP : “I think many schools in would be concerned at first hearing age 7, but the programme does look solid looking at that graph, it shows it is a gentle introduction. I am in Dorset and think that this could work and be rolled out there. One can easily see how it would fit in well. I also think the governor link is something that we can and must focus on.”


Marcus Mason – Member survey 3500 respondents – WEX pre 16 (Experience of work) – Schools, Colleges and University really value good WEX pre 16. Delivery is no longer consistent or as high quality at pre 16. There are some fantastic examples at local level but policy needs to drive this so it is consistent.

Government should reintroduce some sort of duty for all schools to provide some experiences of the work place.

Promoting apprenticeships from 16 onwards those young people need to have experiences before that. Happy to explore that duty with the APPG.

Likes the cluster model – now that there is a devolved schools environment important to have collaboration between schools, colleges and training providers.

Full Text

 “We asked our members what we can do to ridge gap between educators and schools and put that data out. Work experience, in particular pre-16 work experience, came up. We like to use experience of world as well. The key findings from the field work we did were that schools colleges, universities and business all value work experience pre 16. We picked up there is huge concern that delivery of these programmes is no longer as consistent or high quality any more, pre 16. We have 3500 business and schools returning the survey hammering home that point. In both business and policy, we have to question how to make sure how these best practice developments are spread across whole country. We need to ensure that this duty to provide a certain amount of experience in work place is delivered pre-16. All business value it, as employability skills are what they want to see. Also important for pupils, as we need to provide quality experience of work early on, not just at 16 if we are to drum up apprenticeship interest in young people. SO our main finding that came out of this was reintroducing high quality pre-16 work experience. Very interesting to hear about cluster model as well, as now we have a very controlled school environment, having clusters that work together are very important to ensure that there is collaboration.”


Robin Walker MP – Destination data can be really crucial. One of the big challenges is businesses think it is a good idea but are terrified by it. Use their own young people. Worcestershire LEP connecting schools and business., finding a governor from a business background which is difficult.

Full Text

“I have been talking about talking about connecting schools and businesses at my local chamber and the British Chamber earlier about connecting schools and business. I really agree about destination data and changing the focus. The challenges business face about pre-16 work experience is that everyone agrees, but it is hard to try, especially small businesses who are afraid of the safeguarding aspect and don’t generally take the risk. So one thing we can do is educate businesses about what they can do, providing the role models and getting them into schools, and using their own young people who have just started work to get out into schools and talk about what have been doing. One of the things I was talking about earlier this week was that we set up in Worchester with our LEP a thing called CSAB, Connecting Schools and Businesses, where they are trying to join up all schools with businesses, and on the back of that finding governors who can go into schools, and it’s great to have governors passionate with responsibility about careers education, but ideally they should all be fro, a business background. My secondary schools are alright on this front, buy my primary schools are the ones who are those in the most challenging areas are the ones who can’t find people of business experience. So we challenge people to go on to these schools. If we can get this sort of volunteerism going in the business community, this would make a real difference.


Chloe Smith – Balance between local and national

Full Text

“I think that is very right, and there is an axis of discussion we will have in many meetings of this group about the balance between local and nation, bespoke and spontaneous, planned and monitored.


Leo Watson  –  Recruit young people to do a year of volunteering in disadvantaged schools. Recruits have often had no work experience, they work 4 days in school and have 1 day of training. Lack of work experience and knowledge of what is out there.

Broader than schools, youth social action – Scouts and other organisations need to be recognised for social action.

Schools are challenges already so volunteering van help

Full Text

“I am from City Year UK, we help 18-25 year olds volunteer to help kids from disadvantaged backgrounds in schools. We recruit young people and work with them to train them, as they usually have no experience in work at all. Many say they did no work experience at all. I think there is a huge opportunity for larger collaboration with social organisations and others to help out with work experience and youth employment. Youth social action organisations relieve burden of schools in this field.”


Rosey – Volunteering organisation, young people need and like responsibility. The children can be inspired to find and engage with their own opportunities. Passion is also an influencer.

Full Text

“We have not been talking about volunteer organisations. In Camden you do 40 hours service before you graduate, Kids like to feel responsibility for something,. There are a lot of places that could help young people get experience. You do not need a degree to do a lot of the work that organisations and the community can find useful. It is good the government have pushed the work experience thing, although many school still think they can’t afford it.. If there was a groundswell from the parents and kids, we could build it up a bit without finding overworked teachers and forcing more work on them. Careers do not start young anymore, people change careers a lot more now.”


London Youth – Learning trip to Germany where they start early in Primary. Need to help them find out what careers are out there – Young people aspire to what they come into contact with.

Full Text

“Gentle push works on both sides between organisations and schools, builds brand loyalty. The school system in Germany is amazing, it starts early in primary school, with a soft introduction of business people just talking to kids in school. This is good as, when we ask young people on Talent Match, many do not even know what jobs are available. We put young people on taster sessions to facilitate interest and open them up to difference careers that are out there. The innovation is what kids are attracted to. If we can show that innovation in a field like engineering, where there is a skills gap, this is where things start clicking.”


Chloe Smith – What should we do as a group?

Full Text

“I want to guide the discussion to what we should do as a group? Who else needs to hear about these ideas?”

Full Text

Laura-Jane Rawlings: I was at transport meeting yesterday. One good thing they did was map all the organisations that facilitate work with youth from primary to secondary. One thing we brought up is that if kids need 4 points of touch, we need to make sure that those 4 points are actually being delivered. Need barriers to be lower and have schools be able to call up people and have them be accessible to deliver quality support to each touch point the child gets. We need to make journey easier.

Full Text

Yolande Burges: “The National Careers Service has an Inspiration Agenda scheme. I can only speak for London but they do brilliant work and offer brokerage, and help to schools. Ends in March this year due to funding, hopefully should be extended.”


C&E Co – Need to collate the service offer available of organisation who can identify and give support.


Frank Funnell – Teachers need to be inspired, teachers who engage with CPD can then lead back at school. Parents also need to be supported, primary schools is a good place to engage parents. Need to influence organisation who represent parents and carers.

Full Text

“I have two groups that really need to be involved. First are teachers. I have contacts in Eastbury, and these contacts will see problems and ways around them. Teachers, and my next goup are key in social mobility. The second group are parents. I’m surprised we’ve not had parent input yet. We have programme currently running in Haringey. You can get parents along much easier than business. Parents need to learn about careers education as well, as their input is very valuable. Teachers and parents are gatekeepers for people at social disadvantage.”


Chloe Smith: – Action – website to carry all of these resources – send minister copy of meeting – Nicky Morgan and BIS Ministers, share with LEPS and Careers & Ent Co.

Governors network and teaching networks.

Full Text

Chloe Smith: I have an action to form up that would be appropriate for this group. In addition to our website carrying all these resources, we should make sure to email around a copy of everything that has happened in the meeting to relevant people, in this case that would be Nicky Morgan but also business ministers. Why don’t we also make sure The Careers and Enterprise Company know, and we can do the same with Local Enterprise Partnerships. And also, these are big but it’s worth a go, something to do with governors networks and try to get governors and parents. Then next could be teachers networks.


Stewart Segal – Framework is the exciting thing, don’t expect any legislation. Getting schools to own framework, also include apprenticeships and traineeships into frameworks. Bring in things that happen outside.

Full Text

Stewart Segal: “Teach First would be great to look at. As for me I think the whole framework sounds exciting and realistic. Things that are happening in our side of the world, apprenticeships and traineeships, if we can drop these words into the framework it will be helpful to shape. If you look at schools, they must struggle to know where to start, but if we give them a framework is much easier. I ask that you let LEPs know as they can help.

Full Text

Chloe Smith: “Any other burning questions?”


LJR – Need to identify things that government funded and help them to use those things such as Plotr to respond to these challenges

Full Text

“This week there was a jobs hack. One of the things they came up with was a website to help kids get career advice. I had to get back to cab office to tell them they already do that. What we need to do is ensure that nothing is doing over and over again wasting time and money.


Centrepoint – Work ready programme helps young people get work experience placements, students go out on Fridays for WEX but also Mentoring.

How can we get Councils to be a conduit locally?

ASCL Brian Larmen

Full Text

“I have done work experience myself, in a lot of different areas and companies. I may have done 50 hours of it. I find it very interesting and helpful to get a job or part time job. In my school, a Catholic college, we have the Work Ready Programme, created in 2012 and mentioned in parliament, was created by businessmen, to help get work experience placements into school and get students in 6th form to go out on Fridays or go and do 6 weeks work experience. Also we have mentoring on Friday where they come and tell us their story and how they got into world of work. My school has been very successful with this, so we are trying to expand it to all schools in my borough in Brent. Some schools don’t have the facilities to do that. Local councils aren’t approaching rightly that business and school are related together. What I want is to get local councils to be more positive to schools and get business to work together to get business to get into schools.

Full Text

Chloe Smith: “Thank you that is very welcome. Regrettably, we do not have time to open up and answer those questions. Thank you all for attending, it has been very helpful, especially our 3 speakers. Minutes and information on the next meeting will be on the APPG site. Please remember to try and bring a young person each at the next meeting.”

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