The APPG for Youth Employment is delighted to launch its next inquiry as it aims to better understand the impact of mental health on young people accessing the labour market and quality work. The 2022 Youth Voice Census revealed that young people now believe their mental health is one of their biggest barriers to employment and Youth Employment UK called the findings a Mental Health Emergency. Other leading organisations including the Resolution Foundation and The Prince’s Trust have cited that mental health is having an impact across the youth labour market and economic inactivity.
For this inquiry the APPG for Youth Employment will explore the following key question – How is mental health affecting young people accessing the labour market and quality work?
Expert speakers have been invited to give evidence at two parliamentary sessions and external organisations can now submit their own evidence based on the following inquiry questions:
What impact is mental ill-health having on young people when transitioning into education, employment or training? Are there any differences for young people with protected characteristics?
What support is available to young people with mental ill-health who are currently in education, training or employment? How effective is this support? (which groups does this work for)
What additional support could be offered to young people with mental ill-health to get them into work, education or training? a) Examples of evidence and best practice b) What recommendations would you put forward?
What are the likely impacts on youth employment should these proposed recommendations take place? a) Are there specific short term implications? b) What are the long-term implications?
Please read the full guidance document for written submissions found here. Submissions that do not adhere to this guidance may be rejected. Deadline for written submissions is the 9th December 2022 at 5pm.
Meeting Dates 2022/23 – please register to attend via Eventbrite links, you will need a copy of your ticket to enter the parliamentary buildings.
25th October – external organisations will be invited to give evidence – Book here
29th November – external organisations will be invited to give evidence
24th January – a Minister will be invited to give evidence and receive a copy of the Inquiry Report.
The APPG for Youth Employment will hold its Annual General Meeting to elect Officers and a new Chair on the 5th July at 16:00. This meeting is for parliamentarians and members of the House of Lords only and will be a closed meeting.
The meeting will be held in Room R, Portcullis House.
The deadline for registering for the meeting is 12:00 4th July 2022.
On the 20th July the APPG for Youth Employment held its AGM and the minutes including the re-election of offices, the chair and secretariat are detailed below:
In the last year the APPG led an inquiry into the Plan for Jobs and making youth employment policy work. This was the core business last year. Youth Employment UK do not receive any financial support, any support received was in-kind.
James invited confirmation of officers for the APPG. Are all colleagues happy to go forward as officers for the APPG for next month? [All officers confirmed]
Fleur Anderson MP
Andrew Gwynne MP
Chris Green MP
Ben Bradley MP
Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
There is a vote on chair, James stated he was happy to continue for the next 12 months. Chris Green MP proposed, Lord Abedare seconded.
James Daly MP
James thanked Youth Employment UK, Laura-Jane and Josh for their fantastic work. James raised the vote of Youth Employment UK as the secretariat. Chris Green MP proposed, James Daly MP seconded.
The meeting began with a presentation from Anna Smee, CEO of Youth Futures Foundation and a co-chair of the Youth Employment Group. Followed by a panel discussion which included APPG Chair James Daly MP, David Gallagher CEO of NCFE and Anna. The session was chaired by Youth Ambassador Amran.
During the discussion Amran asked the panellist what levelling up meant for them and what should be the focus of the governments agenda in the next 6 and 12 month period. Amran also asked what levelling up would mean at a local level and where the differences would be seen regionally and at macro levels.
After the panel discussion delegates were moved into rooms to discuss key aspects of the Levelling up paper, rooms were chaired by the Youth Employment Group exec team and brought back together to discuss key findings.
Stage 1 – A September Guarantee Stage 2 – Investing for the future Stage 3 – Delivering for young people
Whilst politicians head into recess it is the job of the Youth Employment Group and its membership to really bring the calls and recommendations of this paper together. The Group will be meeting with senior government officials and looking at the papers recommendations and what they mean for the Spending Review.
Upon the return of MPs the APPG for Youth Employment will be setting out its asks and the 2021/22 agenda for the APPG.
Today the APPG for Youth Employment launched the report following its 3 month inquiry – Making Youth Employment Policy Work.
The APPG welcomes the Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP to the session and presented the Minister with the recommendations of the inquiry.
The Minister shared the priorities of her Department in the wake of Covid, understanding the impact it has had on young people, particularly regarding the challenges in the labour market. In less than 12 months the Department have developed a number of programmes to support young people, creating a brand new employment programme; Kickstart along with the creation of 100 Youth Hubs which will be central to the support offered to young people across the country.
“I am very appreciative of this APPG inquiry and the work that you have put in for our young people. Together we can work to ensure our young people look forward to the opportunities they will arise and work to make sure they know how to access them” Mims Davies MP
Along with the Minister, the inquiry heard from Youth Ambassador Alina Ali who shared some of her experience after loosing her job because of Covid. Labour MP Fleur Anderson had led her own constituency based inquiry to support the APPGs work and presented some of the challenges and opportunities she has seen in her community.
The report welcomes the governments Plan for Jobs and the investment and rapid work of government officials to get programmes moving. But, the report recognises that there are still challenges to address and if the government is to truly create an Opportunity Guarantee for all young people then there will need to be further investment and development of the Plan for Jobs commitment.
Watch the APPG for Youth Employment meeting
A joined up approach to education, training and employment
A full Young Person’s Strategy should be developed and invested in. This strategy should be co-led by the Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Education and should include support from other Departments such as Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Culture, Media Sport (DCMS) and Housing, Communities and Local Government (DHCLG). This cross-departmental working would create an assurance that the journey for young people was well connected and appropriately funded.
Consult young people on the development and delivery of a Young Person’s Strategy and ensure that their voices are embedded across all policy areas that directly impact them.
Efforts to support young people at a local level should be focused through Youth Hubs including economic, training, education, careers and employment policy. Youth Hubs provide a key opportunity to bring a cross-department approach into practice at a local level.
The government should design more accurate and robust means of measuring the activity and progress of young people, including but not limited to the development of a “Youth Productivity Index”.
The monitoring and reporting of data around engagement, attainment and progress of young people with disabilities, those from Black, Asian and other minority groups, young care leavers and others with protected characteristics should be a requirement of all government invested programmes.
The government should build and utilise evidence of “what works” for supporting young people into employment – ensuring that policy leads and commissioning services are using evidence based policy in their development and funding models.
Education to Employment Transition
Ensure that there are quality education and training opportunities based on skill demands and future job needs analysis available to all young people where they live. The marker of quality should include the quality of outcomes and participant feedback.
Financial barriers that prohibit young people from choosing and or completing education and training options need to be addressed and appropriate funding mechanisms put in place to ensure that financial disadvantage does not continue to prohibit progress.
Review the education, training and support options for 16 & 17 year olds to ensure they are fit for purpose and that they engage young people to participate and not fall through the cracks. Exploring opening the Adult Education Budget funding to this cohort.
Increase investment and prioritisation of careers education, skill development, and impartial advice and guidance for young people during their time in education to include full and part-time education, college, university, and within traineeships and apprenticeships. To also ensure quality support is also available to those young people who are transitioning, or have become NEET.
Review employer incentives and contributions across Kickstart, traineeship and apprenticeship policy. Ensuring that policy areas do not compete and that employers are appropriately incentivised to create sustainable and high quality employment opportunities for all young people. The path from Kickstart to traineeship and apprenticeship must be clear for the employer and the young employee with funding appropriately allocated through that journey.
Update the Apprenticeship Levy policy to focus and incentivise the creation of employment and training opportunities for 16-24 year olds, ensuring that there is a pathway from entry level to higher level training for young people to scale.
Provide levy paying employers with further flexibility to allow them to use the levy to support pre-apprenticeship training or to be able to transfer more of their allowance.
Scrap the Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) apprenticeship contribution to allow SMEs to benefit from apprenticeships.
Ensure employers benefitting from incentives are working towards the principles of Good Youth Employment and providing quality opportunities with a focus on fair pay, quality experience and personal development.
Set ambitious targets for the public sector on Kickstart, traineeships, supported internships and apprenticeship starts, particularly for those young people who face multiple barriers to employment.
Support for young people not in education, employment or training
Ensure young people are benefiting from personalised and holistic support, with particular focus on those young people who have experienced 6 months or more NEET and those young people most at risk from long-term unemployment.
Provide further quality assurance checks and support to employers and gateway organisations to ensure that the Kickstart wraparound support meets the needs of the individual and will allow them to positively progress into education, employment or training.
Extend the Kickstart programme to ensure that it is available for young people whilst youth unemployment numbers are rising. In addition extend its availability to young people who are not claiming universal credit but have been NEET for 6 months or more.
Monitor the regional availability of into work programmes including sector based work academies, kickstart, traineeships and apprenticeships with particular focus on closing any regional gaps in provision.
Youth unemployment is expected to continue to rise as the economic impacts of Covid-19 are fully realised. Before the Covid-19 crisis began there were approximately 750,000 young people not in employment, education or training (NEET). The Resolution Foundation, the Institute for Employment Studies and the Learning and Work institute have predicted there will be at least 600,000 more unemployed young people, with a further 500,000 expected to become NEET over the next 18 months.
The role of the APPG for Youth Employment will be to champion youth employment in all its forms and provide a supportive but challenging response to government policy and investment.
September – December Inquiry
Making youth employment policy work
Following the £3.06bn government investment into new and existing youth employment initiatives in the summer, is there any sign of tensions in the systems and areas where young people can fall through the gaps? In this inquiry we will explore the key youth employment programmes and see what the early indicators are of success, it will aim to provide constructive feedback to the government to accelerate impact or where improvements need to be made if there are tensions in the system.
Are the summers announcements #PlanForJobs ambitious enough to address the youth unemployment challenge?
Are their gaps and tensions that may cause a rise in further inequalities amongst groups of young people such as those furthest from the labour market?
What more needs to be done to accelerate impact and ensure no young person is left behind?
This inquiry will launch in September 2020 and further information including meetings dates and details for inquiry submissions will be published in September.
Due to the Coronavirus and recommendations of government to cancel unnecessary travel and group meetings the APPG for Youth Employment have taken the decision to postpone the APPG meeting on the 23rd March.
We will look to rearrange this as soon as possible and will update this page when we have a new date confirmed.
If you have any concerns or questions please get in touch with Laura-Jane Rawlings of Youth Employment UK.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group will hold its AGM on the 23rd March where a new Chair and Offices will be elected.
Following the AGM at 3:15 will be the first meeting of a new inquiry series – The youth employment priorities for a new government.
In this inquiry we will look at the current youth employment landscape, hearing from external experts and MP’s who will share insight into the good practice seen in their constituencies. Through evidence sessions in March and April we will present a brief to relevant Ministers and Civil Service colleagues which will include key recommendations for the government.
At the meeting on the 23rd we will hear from Anna Smee, CEO of Youth Futures Foundation and Laura-Jane Rawlings, CEO of Youth Employment UK who will lead a discussion on the current youth employment landscape.
External visitors to the APPG for Youth Employment meetings are required to book themselves on via the Eventbrite links provided. You will need to show your booking confirmation to access The Houses of Parliament. Please arrive 30 minutes early to allow time to clear security.
Please note: Given the current uncertainties around the coronavirus the APPG for Youth Employment meetings are subject to change and will reflect any government advice issues. Therefore please check back with this page and Eventbrite for any further notices.