Making Youth Employment Policy Work – APPG For Youth Employment Launches Its Report

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.

APPG for Youth Employment – Making Youth Employment Policy Work Report

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

Key Recommendations

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.

New youth employment inquiry

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.

Inquiry Questions

  • 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.

AGM & APPG Meeting cancelled

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.

AGM & Inquiry Launch

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.

Book your place here

Other meeting dates  in this series

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.

AGM for the APPG for Youth Employment

The Annual General Meeting 2020 will take place on the 23rd March 2020, 3pm – 4pm in Committee Room 15. Members of Parliament and the House of Lords are invited to attend and join as Officers for the Group.

A full meeting will follow the AGM where the APPG for Youth Employment will begin its first inquiry of 2020 – Youth Employment priorities for the new Parliament

Please do keep an eye out on updates to this meeting as it is subject to change following any travel recommendations imposed by the government in relation to the Coronavirus.



Michael Tomlinson MP supports the Ready and Able Project

On the 8th May, Michael Tomlison MP and Chair of the APPG for Youth Employment supported the ‘Ready and Able’ employability project report launch by Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Michael Tomlinson MP

Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Trailblazers Employability Policy Project, funded by City Bridge Trust, began in October 2017 and set out to identify the key barriers faced by young disabled people when trying to find and stay in work. This report summarises the findings of the project and makes recommendations to employers and to Government that would help remove these barriers.

Through speaking directly with young disabled people and employers, the project has found out specific challenges faced and identified changes that would improve things for disabled jobseekers.

The report provides an in-depth picture of the challenges faced by young disabled jobseekers. These include a flawed Disability Confident scheme, and a lack of funding for care costs at work, which prevents people from getting into the workplace.

Through working with employers, this report has been able to better understand the preconceptions about disability that prevent young people finding employment; preconceptions that the young people who took part in this project experience on a daily basis. The report found that the problem isn’t an unwillingness to take on a disabled employee but rather a lack of confidence in knowing how to adequately support disabled employees.

This report concludes with a series of recommendations for both employers and for

Trailblazers – Ready and Able

Employer support for youth employment

On the 29th April the APPG for Youth Employment launched its report into the Employer Support for Youth Employment.Photo from Laura-Jane Rawlings (10)

This report followed a three month inquiry where written and verbal evidence was given by organisations such as the Confederation for British Industry, Federation for Small Business, Careers & Enterprise Company, AELP, Youth Employment UK, employers and young people.

‘Employer support for youth employment’ is Series Five in reports from the APPG for Youth Employment. Previously the group has reviewed youth unemployment data, the transition between education and employment, supporting young people furthest from the labour market and the role the family plays in social mobility.

In this series, the APPG looked to explore the level of employer support for youth employment, where there might be tensions in the system and what is working well.
Government departments have been looking more and more to the business community to step in to support and even solve some of the challenges that exist around skills, careers and employment.

Major apprenticeship and technical education reform has put business in the driving seat of qualification design and investment, and there are also calls on business to support careers education, digital skills and social mobility initiatives across a range of departments.

The APPG for Youth Employment wanted to examine the key asks of government and look to understand how business has responded to those requests. The report which was due to be presented to Anne Milton, Minister of State for  Apprenticeships and Skills put forward key recommendations to government:

  • The APPG for Youth Employment is recommending that a cross government taskforce is created to develop a joined-up, long-term strategy for youth services and employment.
  • We are asking for apprenticeship and skills training reform to prevent the further decrease in 16-18 year old starts and Level 2 and 3 starts.
  • Recommending that SMEs are better supported to deliver against the government’s youth employment strategy.

Download the report in full here

Inquiry into the role of the family in social mobility

Series 4 –  The role of the family in supporting young people into employment

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Youth Employment presented the report on The Role of The Family In Social Mobility to Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families.

The Minister attended the final meeting for the APPG to receive the report and to take questions from attending delegates. Two Youth Ambassadors from Youth Employment UK were able to ask the Minister questions.

The final report will be published once we have collated the minutes from today’s meeting and received answers from the Minister on questions put to him.

YE APPG Report – The Role of the Family in Social Mobility

There have been some exceptional speakers and some really engaging discussions in this series. The APPG has heard about the range of challenges young people face who cannot be supported by good family networks.

Hearing from young people directly who have experienced the challenge that a lack of family support can bring was really insightful. Young people without family support need government and local services around them to step up and step in to ensure that they do not get left behind and that they can fulfil their own potential.

The APPG has had submissions to this inquiry from leading organisations such as Centrepoint, Barnardo’s, Standalone, Talent Match and others. On behalf of the APPG for Youth Employment we would like to thank all of those people and organisations for their engagement.

Young people who were represented either at meetings or within the evidence provided include:

• Care leavers
• Young carers
• Homeless young people
• Young offenders
• Estranged young people

In the research presented by Dr Emily Rainsford at the very beginning of this inquiry we heard that family plays a crucial role in supporting young people into adulthood and into living fulfilled lives. Within the family Economic, Social and Cultural Capital is passed down from generation to generation. Where a young person is able to build trust, access opportunities and learn about work from their family members they are most likely to succeed into adulthood and can even move to a higher social stratum than that of their parents.

For young people without this family support they are left disadvantaged and will often fall behind that of their peers. They are likely to struggle through key transition periods and face multiple and complex barriers. Throughout the submissions it was clearly evident that young people who do not receive adequate support are at the greatest risk of downward social mobility, a problem that not only scars the life chances of those individuals but also a problem for the economy. A country that truly believes in a fairer society must take bold action to ensure that no one is left behind.

Often raised throughout the inquiry and the written submissions was the issue that there is no accurate understanding of the numbers of young people within these groups. Without understanding the number of young people affected by a lack of family support it is impossible to understand what investment, policies or services are really needed and to what extend existing policies and investment is working effectively.

Based on the evidence heard at the meetings and put forward in the written submissions, the APPG for Youth Employment is making the following recommendations to government:

Protect the benefits of young care leavers and carers
o Young adult carers should be classed as a “vulnerable group” by the Department for Education which would give them full entitlement to the 16-19 bursary. Young adult carers currently miss out on this vital support which would help them with the additional financial costs of learning. As a result, many either do not take up learning opportunities or drop out.
o Young care leavers should be reassured that their benefits will cover the cost of renting while job hunting. The government should extend the exemption of care leavers from the Shared Accommodation Rate of Local Housing Allowance until the age of 25, so that they do not have the pressure of making up the rent while studying or searching for a job. Local authorities can also show their support by exempting care leavers from council tax, as Southwark, Wigan and others have done already.
o The Department for Work and Pensions should make young adult carers exempt from the 21-hour rule in the benefit system. Currently, they lose the Carer’s Allowance of £62.10 per week if they participate in learning for longer than this each week. Most FE courses require longer participation, leaving young adult carers in a catch-22 situation. Given that many young adult carers have already lost out on several years of education as a result of their caring responsibilities, and that they and their families typically live in or on the edges of poverty, they deserve greater flexibility to gain the skills they need for successful careers.

Improve accessibility to Traineeships
o Extending the 6 month time limit for those who need more time to complete a traineeship.
o Allow greater flexibility in eligibility criteria, to widen participation for those young people who will benefit
o Improve awareness through national marketing campaigns and ensure that Local Government and service providers are able to offer and promote them.

Improve mental health services for care leavers This could be achieved by allowing care leavers to access child and adult mental health services to 25 for example, or by placing a specialist mental health worker in leaving care teams.

Provide education bursary support for young people without family support. The government should reintroduce a needs-based bursary similar to the Educational Maintenance Allowance in order to provide financial support for young people on low incomes who are seeking to further their education and job prospects.

AGM October 2018 Minutes

Michael Tomlinson MP opened the AGM at 3pm on the 22nd October 2018

  1. Welcome and Introductions – Michael Tomlinson MP, APPG for Youth Employment Chair
    • In attendance:  Jeremy Lefoy MP and Ben Bradley MP
    • Apologies were noted from: Ian Austin MP, Chris Green MP, Rachel McLean MP and Baroness Bertin.
  2. Overview of the work and impact of the APPG for Youth Employment to date – Laura-Jane Rawlings, CEO of Youth Employment UK, APPG for Youth Employment Secretariat
    • Over 40 different organisations have submitted evidence to the inquiries and more than 150 different people including over 50 young people have attended the meetings held alongside the inquiries.
    • Series 1 – Youth Unemployment dataSeries 2 – Transition between education and employment, report received by Damian Hinds MP
    • Series 3 – Barriers young people face who are furthest from the labour market, report received by Anne Milton MP
    • Series 4 – The role of the family in social mobility, Nadhim Zahawi MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families has been invited to receive the report at the December meeting.
  3. Finance Report – Laura-Jane Rawlings
    • The finance report was presented and signed by Michael Tomlinson MP
  4. Appointment of Chair – Michael Tomlinson MP
    • Michael Tomlinson MP was re-elected as Chair
  5. Appointment of Officers – Michael Tomlinson MP
    • Ian Austin MP – elected officer
      Chris Green MP – elected officer
      Rachel Maclean MP – elected officer
      Baroness Bertin – elected officer
      Ben Bradley MP – elected officer
  6. Appointment of Secretariat – Michael Tomlinson MP
    • Youth Employment UK re-elected as the Secretariat for the APPG for Youth Employment
  7. Review of meetings in the year ahead – Laura-Jane Rawlings
    • Series 4 – Role of the family in social mobility – 22nd October and 10th December 2018
    • Series 5 – Youth Friendly Employers – 21st January, 18th February, 15th April 2018, meetings held 3pm – 4pm.
  8. AOB – Michael Tomlinson MP
    • No other business was recorded