Minutes Of Meeting 20th January 2016

Minutes for the APPG for Youth Employment

20th Janaury 2016

International landscape of youth unemployment



Chloe Smith MP – Chair of APPG for Youth Employment

Adriana Poglia – Peace Child

Izzy Hatfield – IPPR

Lisa Abrahams – UCAS Progress

Linn Proctor – Future Academies

Frank Funnel – Brokerage City Link

Laura-Jane Rawlings – Youth Employment UK

Zoe Hamilton – City Year

Leo Watson – City Year

Ruth Carter – OCR

Ruth O’Sullivan – CentrePoint

Ashayne – Sky

Claire Morgan – Sky

Sam Willet – ERSA

Abi Pike – The Dianna Award

Elisha – The Dianna Award

Oliver – Family & Chid Care Trust

Chris Green MP – Vice Chair of APPG for Youth Employment

Robin Walker MP – Member of APPG for Youth Employment


Point 1.

Minutes from previous meeting – Approved

The APPG will be producing a review following each meeting, with a summary and recommendations which will be shared with any relevant Ministers of Government Departments.

Feb meeting will on the 24th

Meeting time change will be 2pm on a Wednesday


Point 2.

Events – The Apprenticeship 4 England conference will include a debate for young people about apprenticeships. All members of the APPG are invited to come along with young people. See Youth Employment UK’s website for more information – www.yeuk.org.uk


Point 3

ONS 13.7% which is a rise from 13.6% (July – September)

These figures are improved from previous year but as there has been a slight increase we must keep an eye on it.

The claimant count is down which is welcome.




Izzy Hatfield – Research Fellow IPPR

IPPR is an organisation that undertakes research to recommend policy changes.

The points being discussed today come from a paper from 2014 looking at lessons from Europe and further afield.


Headline statistics – Highest employment rate, young people is slightly mixed. Young people in a worst position to adults, worst in the last couple of decades. Deeper underlining cause for worry with youth unemployment.

UK just above average on employment statistics within the EU. Spain is performing particularly badly. The UK should not be complacent many countries above us – Germany, Denmark and Netherlands to name a few. This paper showed that Germany, Austria and Netherlands have had low unemployment rates for the last couple of decades.

Could we learn anything?

Characteristics of the counties that perform well –

  • Well integrated system – Needs of employers understood by education – close links between education and work skills.
  • Really targeted careers education.
  • Good labour market policy including the benefit system which promotes skill development.


Examples of practice that could be adopted by UK system to improve youth unemployment:

(not possible to compare like for like – culture change would be required for UK to compete)


  • The employment and education work so well together in these countries. In the UK employers assume that they should be able to recruit straight from the education system work ready candidates. Employers may need to input more into the system to get these outputs.
  • In Germany have well renowned dual training system. Has consistently excellent outcomes. UK Government interested in expanding vocational education in the UK. Apprenticeships are important but not the only way to engage employer/school partnership. A huge number of the current apprenticeships are going to over 25’s. Not targeted to young people but more targeting could be done.
  • Evidence from Europe suggests that those not achieving academic success are removed from school environment and given more tailored support to learn the skills inc. Functional Maths and Eng in environments that suit their learning needs better.


Chris Green MP –  I understand from employers that they want to recruit the right attitudes and it’s not just about qualifications?


Izzy Hatfield – Yes the EU countries really embed careers education early which supports soft skills and attitudes. It is a business/school partnership. Employers best placed to keep ahead of new skills demand.


Welfare policy – Countries who are performing really well often take a skill first approach. In UK we put more support into making jobseekers find work, any work which may not have a long term impact. In Demark they send unemployed people looking for benefits back into the education system to look at the skills that they need to develop to achieve their career ambitions.


Adriana Poglia – Peace Child


Sub-Sahara and Africa focus

One key thing that goes across this is that the challenges we face are different across different climates. But some of the solutions are universal.


  • Global Youth unemployment rose by 2 million in 2 years, Youth unemployment represents 2/3 of unemployment overall.
  • Levels of Youth Unemployment rising alarmingly.
  • Youth unemployment is something that stays with a young persona and can impact on the life time employment of a person.
  • Young people compete with skilled workers. This is a universal challenge.
  • Youth unemployment is pushing gender inequalities further a part. Fewer than half of woman have jobs compared to 4/5 men – Global – World Bank Statistics. A problem that affects every Country


Sustainable development goals – Goal 8 has set a tangible landmark – to achieve full youth employment by 2030 – this is a percentage.


Peace Child working with the EU at what countries need to do to tackle youth unemployment.


Sub-Sahara and Africa needs a million jobs a month. What they are having to do is create more entrepreneurship training. Look to schools to provide these skills, in Europe we focus on academic qualifications being the thing to tackle youth unemployment.


In Sub-Sahara and Africa looking at ways to teach young people practical skills, hairdressing or sowing – but very few being taught the business skills. Teach a Man to Fish is a UK Organisation with an international network – creating self-finance in schools, by teaching students to run businesses which then develops key enterprise and employment skills – Commination, Finance, Team work skills.


Tapping into this in the UK would really have an impact.


The dual education system also really works; Switzerland youth unemployment is 3%


EU has a Youth Guarantee scheme. Piloted in 4 countries – guarantee every young person be offered an opportunity of employment within 4 months of leaving school. This has mixed results, risk of disempowering young people – as giving young people jobs because employers being mandated to take on young people.


Chris Green MP – Are there sanctions?

Adriana Poglia – The offer could be turned down by the young person if the job is not of interest.


Peer-to-peer learning also has a very positive impact. Peace Child has been working with young people to create peer-to-peer learning and support environments for 35 years. Peace Child trains 6th formers to train and mentor year 10 students. Y10 students learn much quicker from another student. This happens a lot overseas. We can build on this in the UK. It is achievable.


  1. Big research piece with EU – looking at best practice in Europe -key recommendations was lack of entrepreneurship in schools. Every country Peace Child works with has seen entrepreneurship make such a difference when it is in place.


  1. Lack of focused business development services for young people – there is little tailored to youth. In Africa this has been built on – micro-finance – more relaxed interest rates, supportive, mentoring


Can young people who are unemployed get support from JCP
Closing digital divide – Across to different technologies is important


Chloe Smith MP – Thanks speakers


Frank Funnel – Ongoing problem in world sense – EU has shrinking youth population – brain drain. In UK ageing population. Entrepreneurship – in UK it’s not very clear on what it is – Alan Sugar and Dragons Den are dangerous for stereotyping. We need to have the people who know what they are talking about in schools.


Leo Watson – One thing Germany has and US a year of service – young people age up to 25 can go into their community for tangible public benefit to gain skills and do careers exploration. IN US it gets £1.2 billion federal funding. In France now have 33,000 young people doing it. City Year does this, it has 180 young people these years. YP go into schools with challenges and work with young people. UK does not have a legal status for volunteers which impacts respect, finance, benefits, accreditation. City Year working on getting volunteering as law.  Funded 40% by corporate partners – National Grid work with them to help raise awareness for STEM in primary school. Deutche Bank and Bank of America who want to engaged with students. The business also get employers to work with volunteers – mentoring, careers support and work experience. Building on the back of NCS with a year of service.


Izzy Hatfield – There is an important role to make sure that everyone knows what options are available. Starting young to challenge some stereotypes around STEM which is a great idea

The idea of accreditation and non-traditional routes are held in higher esteem – this happens in their countries


Chris Green MP – KPMG and EY removing graduate boundaries.


Lin Proctor – Schools are judged on number of children going to university so schools hands are tied.
Ruth Carter– Awarding body that has vocational qualifications that are provided but take up is low as young people forced to go down academic routes.


Robin Walker MP – Destination data. Need to build up the data sets so we can use it. Needs to be a range of measures.


Chris Green MP – On that there is a concern that we have teachers who only know the academic route – which is why we must do better work with employers


Robin Walker MP – that is what Careers and Enterprise Company is mandated to do.


Lin Proctor – Application process – UCAS is only one application – apprenticeships much more complex and multiple routes – Employers need to review their recruitment processes.


Leo Watson – Apprenticeships are a great route but you are asking young people to choose a specialism – a year of service will help buy the time to develop learning and understanding.


Lin Proctor – Parents need support to understand pathways


Frank Funnel – Disadvantaged not necessarily poor it might not be knowing your options. Corporates do all the work around apprenticeships. For an SME much harder.


Laura-Jane Rawlings – Corporates cannot be the only answer – enterprise skills are not just starting your own business but being able to work in an SME.


Robin Walker MP – Youth mentors are really important.


PC – Mentorship programme sees such a huge change in the mentor – they learn the skills for themselves but in a supportive way.
Lin Proctor – Value what you value, young people are valued by different things – being good at exams.


YP – City Year – I have followed academic route and completed ICS Programme in Summer, no idea what wanted to do, did not want to follow degree route (Law) unemployed for 2 months, confidence was so low. Found City Year and grabbed the opportunity to work and support young people in primary. Wish she had had a mentor when she was younger.


Claire Morgan – How are young people compensated –


Leo Watson – Yes, we support travel and other costs, fulfilling the legal requirement.


Ashayne – Volunteering should be promoted more.


Elisha – Run an in school mentoring programme – 2 different programme – peer-to-peer train students to become mentors who will then mentor other students. Leadership, social action, projects. Mentors then develop skills and impart their knowledge with other young people.


2) Bring students from deprived areas and team them with youth mentors and corporate mentors. 6-month programme – at the end the corporate often offers additional work experience opportunity. Challenges backgrounds and attitudes and mind-sets.


Abi Pike – Has dyslexia and believes that apprenticeships and social action. Only got min grades and would be worries about more exam based GCSE, which is prohibitive for young people with disability or poor backgrounds.


Claire Morgan – Review numbers of employed young people in global offices, Parity and esteem around apprenticeship is important – parents and young people have low opinions. At Sky apprenticeships really important to business growing more than grad programme. After 1st year apprentices are on equal footing to grads. Grads have to unlearn and learn – real drive and business


Laura-Jane Rawlings – Are the Careers and Enterprise Company going to use the mentoring funds to tap into existing mentoring programmes such as Peace Child and Dianna Award?


Robin Walker MP – I am meeting with them and will find out.


Chloe Smith MP – Closing the meeting


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