The APPG during the election period


During the dissolution period from 3 May 2017 to 8 June 2017,  the All-Party Parliamentary Groups will not be active. Parliamentary rules prohibit groups from making public comment, holding events, undertaking research or issuing communications, or allowing others to do so in their name.

During this period of dissolution there are no Members of Parliament and the group has no status as an All-Party Parliamentary Group.

After the 8th of June Youth Employment UK the secretariat for the APPG for Youth Employment will provide further information.

Pathways from Education to Employment – APPG Series 2 Report

From Education to Employment

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Employment are delighted to present our series 2 report: Inquiry in to Pathways from education to employment.

The series ran through January to March 2017.


As part of the first meeting Youth Employment UK Ambassadors were asked to share their experiences from the education system, you can read our ambassador write up here.

The second meeting drew presentations from Tim Dibb from The Department of Work and Pensions and Richard Beard from Talent Match Black Country accompanied by two young people who had been supported through the programme.

The third, and final meeting of the series welcomed Damian Hinds, Minister for Employment who answered questions from our youth audience, shared the work his department is doing and received a copy of this report.


14 submissions were received for this report sharing a breadth of topics, expertise and insights. Several key themes came through including; consistency and quality careers advice, work experience, networking and information and updating the provision, information and skills given to our schools.

Youth Employment Pathways from Education to Employment Report – Youth Employment APPG


APPG for Youth Employment launches report following inquiry into youth employment data

Press Releasemichael-tomlinson


The All-Party Parliamentary Group which is chaired by Michael Tomlinson MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole launched an inquiry in October 2016 into the use of youth employment data. The inquiry sought to understand how youth unemployment data is used, how effective it is and if/how it can be made more meaningful.

 Michael Tomlinson MP said “I am very pleased with the work that the APPG has undertaken this quarter, holding a number of well-attended meetings on a variety of issues relating to the opportunities and challenges around the documenting of youth employment and how it helps us get more young people into work.

I personally believe that gainful employment and the skills that come with that has a powerful role in improving social mobility for the most disadvantaged people in our most deprived communities, something that has become clear in evidence we have heard from groups like City Year UK and Centrepoint.”

The inquiry received a number of submissions from organisations such as Movement to Work, Centrepoint Rathbone and Young Womens Trust.

The report which is available in full on the APPG for Youth Employment website and through Youth Employment UK identified that:

Where there is good data about young people targeted support can be put in place.  Organisations that support young people use the national statistical data to design and target services for young people. However the data that is available does not provide a useful enough breakdown at a local level or for groups of young people.

The report puts forward the following recommendations:

  • Production and publication of the youth employment data at a more granular level, parliamentary
  • constituency or local authority area
  • More detailed breakdown of the youth employment categories to separate out young people in
  • education, apprenticeships, in employment, receiving support, care leavers, homelessness.
  • Inclusion of ethnography data within the NEET and economically inactive statistical breakdowns.
  • Presentation of data in a more visual form to allow access to non-data/analytical users

Download the full report here – youth-employment-data-enquiry-report-youth-employment-appg


For more information please contact Youth Employment UK CIC by email –

Series 2 – January Meeting

In 2016/17 the APPG for Youth Employment will look closely at three topics that impact on youth employment.

Series 2 begins in January with a focus on – Education into Employment – 18th January 4.00pm – 5.00pm

For each topic the APPG will hold a series of meetings where in the first meeting an external expert will be asked to give evidence on that topic, at the 2nd meeting MP’s and organisations from constituencies around the UK will be invited to give evidence and at the 3rd meeting the relevant Minister will be invited to attend and present.

During each series an inquiry will be launched inviting organisations to respond to questions relating to that topic. The responses will be gathered and presented to the relevant Minister/and or colleagues from the department and published at the end of each series.


Wed 18 January 2017

16:00 – 17:00 GMT


Houses of Parliament, Committee Room 19, London, SW1A 2PW

Please Note:

  • Organisations attending are invited to bring a young person with them to the meeting.
  • You should aim to arrive 30 minutes in advance of the meeting to clear through security.
  • sometimes the room allocation can change with limited notice. Please check on the day of the event for any room changes.

APPG May Meeting Minutes

APPG Meeting Notes – 24th May Volunteering


Chloe Smith, Chair of the APPG for Youth Employment and MP for Norwich North

Laura-Jane Rawlings, CEO of Youth Employment UK

Rabyia Baig, Youth Ambassador at Youth Employment UK

Jack Welch, Youth Ambassador at Youth Employment UK

Patrick Cantellow, Youth Ambassador at Youth Employment UK

Pa to Michael Tomlinson

Nick, The challenge

Leo Watson, City Year and one young person

Lauren Mistry, Plotr

Ornella Nsio, London Youth and one young person

Woman from Creative skills industry


Chloe Smith MP gave an introduction disclosing that although there were not many people due to changes in dates we would still be having a more informal meeting today. She discussed that her and Laura-Jane would give a brief introduction about Step Up To Serve and their #IWill campaign including also the queens speech.

Laura-Jane then gave a brief intro talking about Step Up To Serve explaining that our apologies that Dominic is not here yet but we will give a intro to them as best we can. Step up to serve is a campaigning organisation that came out of coalition government to see young people get into more social action. One big agenda for them is to help employers recognise social action when young people apply for jobs. Chloe Smith MP then asked if anybody in the room had any other experiences of step up to serve. Ornella then replied with her experience of when she was working at vinspired. She remembers when she was at vinspired the Step Up To Serve #IWill Campaign then launched. She also discussed how she thinks that volunteering definitely needs to be recognised at a more national level of importance, one of the things she recalled vinspired did was that for young people they recorded how many hours volunteering they did and at each badge stage of hours it could also be converted into UCAS points. Laura-Jane then discussed how we all recognise the princes trust and how that is nationally recognised and will be also on the new The Careers and Enterprise Company passport they have now discussed launching.

Chloe Smith MP then gave a brief explanation of the queens speech by talking about how usually there are five queens speeches per government term of five years. She discussed how it brought up that there would be more resources to National Citizenship Service by recognising it locally and to  put it on a statutory footing about that National Citizenship Service exists at a national level. Chloe then asked the room if anyone had been involved in National Citizenship Service? Jack then responded by talking about how he was involved in a different way because he was over 18. He was part of a group recruited to review applications of organisations and employers who wanted to get involved the National Citizenship Service and did interviews with them to see if they could be a provider of the programme or not. Patrick then discussed about his time actually doing the National Citizenship Service programme last year for six weeks. He said that while on the programme he was able to meet loads of new and interesting people. For the social action part of the programme his group did up a run down skate park in their area. He went on to say that he fully enjoyed the six weeks he spent with them and would of recommended it to other young people. Nick discussed how at the challenge they are the biggest provider of the National Citizenship Service programme. So they were happy when it was announced in the queens speech more money and resource would go into it. He said he thought it was a great experience for young people just like Patrick had mentioned around the chance to meet new people and to also do social action at the same time.

Ornella then spoke about how it’s not just about employers. She thinks that organisations and those who run the National Citizenship Service should take more responsibility. She thinks it doesn’t really benefit the people who could actually benefit from it. It would be such a good programme for those who are in a financial struggle or from a difficult family background but they don’t seem to be marketed to them. She also mentioned the fact that for most young people they want to be paid because they can’t find jobs. They would like to volunteer and help people but can’t due to their own financial situation. The young person from London Youth said that he would agree with what Ornella said. He mentioned that when he was younger he did lots of volunteering and gained some new skills, and to be up on his feet. It also depends on the individual and what will appeal to each person.

Nick then discussed the programme they run at The Challenge called Headstart. Which gives young people a guaranteed interview if they do 16 hours volunteering to help build confidence and new skills while also having something concrete at the end of it. He discussed how they work with corporate partners such as Starbucks and that young people who had done 16 hours had 9/10 chance of job offers afterwards whereas those who didn’t had 6/10.

Chloe Smith MP then posed the question to raise some debate in the meeting by asking why can’t projects attract young people themselves without the incentives? To which Nick replied with volunteering is putting forward a lot of your own time and young people have a lot of things going on in their own lives. Leo then added that it would be great to do community social action but if you want to address a real social challenge such as homelessness or social mobility at schools big organisations can work with lots of organisations on different national levels to do so.

Woman from Creative skills industry then brought up that she was going to take the response from a different angle. She then discussed that the industry she is in has a lot of skills shortages. She told us how that a lot of their employers are looking to apprenticeships and pre education about the workplace and that it is interesting hearing about skills and strengths. But employers need to see what you learnt, where you volunteered etc. Laura-Jane then replied with that she agreed totally that, that is where we need to pick up on what they need to put on their cv’s and they need to be taught the language of the workplace rather than volunteering or in education.

Laura-Jane and Chloe Smith MP then touched on the fact that The Careers and Enterprise Company are launching a passport for young people. Organisations such as National Citizenship Service will have to mandate and stamp that passport. It will build up a picture of between careers. But will other volunteering organisations be able to be on that passport.

Leo then explained what City year do and how they were set up. He mentioned that their programme had shown it had a big improvement on young people’s employability, 90% go into full time education or employment. 97% employment rate for after their programme. Laura-Jane then posed a question that she just wasn’t sure if it is volunteering or a service that schools should be funding.? Leo replied with that he appreciates the question as they get asked it a lot. He talked about how some organisations provide accommodation however they do not they give an allowance to the volunteers of £100 per week but they don’t see it as employment. They are covered by employment law. Ornella then asked what the most common demographic is on the programme? To which Leo said that most people are post uni age and from a poor background such as had free school meals that are on their programme. Jack brought up the fact that City Year have now moved out of London and branching out to other cities, how is it going? Leo talked about how City year is now in Birmingham and Manchester. In America it was funded in 1988 and that it has worked well in America and are funded by government. Laura-Jane then asked Youth Ambassador Patrick if he would do one year’s service? Patrick said although he did enjoy volunteering he wouldn’t want to do the same thing for a year. He wouldn’t be able to do that financially and doing lots of volunteering had burnt him out a bit after this year and that he was starting an apprenticeship in June and just wouldn’t have the same amount of time to volunteer. Laura-Jane then posed the same question to  Rabyia who said how it’s about the type of volunteering, you have to look at what you do for a company versus what you can get out of it. She talked about her time volunteering for a housing association and how that helped her to understand and look at government policy. To which City Year Young Person responded with I think the year is a great idea, I can help my community and give something back.

Dominic: sorry for being late I was going to talk about how we can show the benefits to employers of social action and volunteering. The #IWill Campaign. Some interesting guidance from department of education  around study programmes for 16-18 year olds. Some studies show how it helps anxiety by doing social action. By doing it a younger age it can show doing more volunteering into adulthood. Look at social action and understand it not just from corporates, voluntary and public sectors. But need to get more info down to SMEs. Looking at employers and teachers. Also looking at the health and social care sector to see how under 18s can volunteer for a heavy burdened sector.

Ornella: what particular age would be the best range?

Dominic: that’s a great question. the age range we would think is most impactful would be between the ages of 10 and 20 years of age. Looking at primary schools with peer mentoring. Specific to the work we do is 10-20 that’s all we can do but that shouldn’t be the cap. Could be 16-24 or 14 up etc. can’t start early enough.

Laura-Jane: we talked about earlier how young people talk about their skills they have developed during volunteering or social action. How would you best do that or is being done?

Dominic; there are some ways already being done by companies such as o2 think big and upcoming is the c and e c passport.

Dominic, laura-jane and lauren mistry: looking at skills and lists not wanting a new run that will then not used. Should be some unified skills list.

Leo: we like to give back some hours back after the year to help people recognise the skills they used and would suggest that say after 16 hours of volunteering an org gives back 2 hours or like headstart they give something back.

Nick: then talks about how headstart gives something backand thinks how volunteering and how we can give something back is a beneficial and an incentive.

Dominic -Would you speak up about volunteering?

Lauren Mistry & City Year both said some people will recognise it but some wont

Laura-Jane then asked chloe Does Norfolk jobs look at those skills?

Chloe Smith: not as a major part, I know other organisations find it hard to reach those in rural areas such as villages.

Patrick and Jack both expressed how being in rural locations can make it difficult to find opportunities and that Patrick now with his own organisation has begun to run buses through villages about volunteering.

APPG Meeting April Minutes

APPG Meeting 20th April 2016 Apprenticeships Notes


Chloe Smith MP – Chair of the APPG and MP for Norwich North

Baroness Stedman-Scott – Vice Chair of APPG

Robin Walker MP – Officer of APPG and MP for

Nadhim Zahawi MP – Speaking about apprenticeships on behalf of his self and the PM also MP for

Ruth Cadbury MP – Officer of APPG and MP for

Shona Lomas – Membership Manager at Youth Employment UK

Paul Warner – Aelp

Rabyia Baig – YEUK Ambassador

Rhiannon Wilson – Apprentice at Youth Employment UK

Sean McGinn – Affinity Sutton

Harvey Morton – YEUK Ambassador

Ruth Carter – OCR

Simon Reichwald – MyKindaFuture

Alan Benvie – The Skills Company

Rachel McKimm – My Work History

Shaun – Interserve

Kormakor Arthurrson – Bridging To The Future

Estella Edwards – The Future Melting Pot

Chris Bolton – Pearson



Baroness Stedman-Scott introduces the meeting by addressing the room that today we will be talking about apprenticeships and will be hearing from the likes of Baroness Corston who will be talking about the social mobility report, Nadhim Zawahi who will be talking about the stance he and the prime minister are taking around apprenticeships and Paul Warner from Aelp talking about their Routes Into Work report. First of all let’s get started with Baroness Corston.

Baroness Corston then started her presentation which detailed the social mobility report and mentioned that all too often those that are the majority are those that are left behind. She mentioned that she had chaired committees in both houses but found that the more cohesive and detailed house in terms of research and making reports was the House of Lords. The social mobility report is called left behind and overlooked. She then talked about how the funding difference between apprenticeships compared to academic routes can sometimes be a difference of £6000. She said that an array of qualifications are not understood by employers. She went on to explain that for many young people there is a lack of mentoring and next to no life skill learning. She talked about her own father who would of left school nearly around a 100 years ago now. He did an apprenticeship for 5 years, we went to Rolls Royce who do apprenticeships that last for 4 years. This option is seen as good as redbrick university. We also talked to young people who had some low quality apprenticeships with various employers which said they had done apprenticeships packaging vegetables for 6 weeks or rearranging flowers into bouquets for a supermarket for 6 weeks and also at one company where a young man said he was in a company as an apprentice where most of the workforce were apprentices working on £3.70 an hour. She spoke about how important it is that we have the apprenticeship levy because it may encourage more companies to have apprentices.

The floor was then taken by Nadhim Zawahi who mentioned that the A on his lapel stands for apprenticeships and that he stood proud wearing it. He moved on to say that today I will give you an idea of what I do and will speak to you about where we are up to as a government. He mentioned that he had come into the job in November and that the first email he received was from America who wanted to learn from apprenticeships which was great to know that people wanted to learn from our system but he wanted to look at countries that were doing it better than us to learn from them such as in Germany or Switzerland. He went on to speak about the infrastructure of apprenticeships in Germany and that it is strong because it has been around for years and employers understand it. He moved on to saying the system in Germany is crucial and no matter which party is in power that they take on the new apprenticeship system and infrastructure and that in Germany their businesses are truly embedded in the education system. He explained about the apprenticeship levy which will come in to force in April 2017 employers. The funding and budget for apprenticeships will be in the billions for apprenticeships over the next few years. He discussed how in many ways he saw the opposite of what Baroness Corston saw about apprenticeships. Due to him meeting apprentices who now talk about their apprenticeship experience and have gone on in their businesses to develop and grow their own career. He sees the levy as a great way to nudge businesses to look at their own apprentices and apprenticeship schemes. He said the target of 3 million apprenticeships was also a target for 3 million quality apprenticeships. He said that again Baroness Corston touched on the challenges we saw about the quality the apprenticeships would be but we wanted to address those concerns. He discussed the new institute which would become independent from government to deliver the standards of apprenticeships as well as reporting back to government about the quality of apprenticeships. He said that he would like to see every young person either earning, learning or both. He hopes that the word will spread to young people and their parents to show that apprenticeships can deliver a career and show a quality outcome for their sons and daughters. A marketing campaign will run mid-May about how apprenticeships are truly valuable and will deliver with what it says on the tin. He said that the government needed to show that they will do what they say and don’t just walk the walk. But that the new institute would be making sure that apprenticeships will have that quality in force. He then posed to the room that if they had any problems, queries or best practice they would like to share to get in contact with him so that it could help to shape and develop the infrastructure.

The next speaker was Paul warner from aelp who was delighted for the invitation to come and present to the APPG and to also be able to work alongside Youth Employment UK. He said that aelp have just shy of 800 members over the country who deliver apprenticeships and with that in mind they were happy to see the 20 20 vision come out. A few years ago they wouldn’t think they would see a 5 year plan for apprenticeships. Issues around youth learning and employment are critical to their future, but commentators are not always the best people to show what young people actually experience. In their report Routes Into Work that they made with Pearson and Youth Employment UK shows the issues and how to address those issues spoken from young people and contains a raft of recommendations that need recognition. What is becoming clear is that the shape of the labour market in the UK is becoming an hourglass shape and there is slow progress in some parts of the market. Young people aren’t receiving the guidance and support they need to make a choice about their career which is often either partial or non-existent. This problem is long standing and is actually a long problem stemming from schools not allowing businesses and external organisations in and shouldn’t have had to be changed by the force of legislation and should have been second nature to them. Apprenticeships need to be seen as a viable route as other academic routes and not a second rate solution. Young people who have special needs not only don’t have the guidance they need at school about careers but they then also don’t get the support they need while in their job. Still too many young people find out far too late that there aren’t many jobs in certain industries and can leave young people being left adrift. The UK needs a change of attitude from employers around apprenticeships so that they see young people for their talent and not as a training burden. Their report makes 12 recommendations. He highlighted 3 of them. One was that the government needed to conduct substantial research for the structure and the variety of apprenticeships because we can’t go into adhoc it needs to be evidence based to see a better future for all apprenticeships. Secondly was that it should have a cross party and cross department approach to this so that there isn’t a traineeships situation again. Finally was to create more market opportunites and have a more cooperative approach to the labour market for young people to make their own choice. Thank you for letting me speak today.

Chloe Smith then asked if anyone had any questions to ask Nadhim before he had to take a departure early and three people raised some.

Lin Proctor raised this query to Nadhim Zawahi MP “I agree with everything you say but I find our young people are finding the application process quite hard at times with a long process and that the recruitment route needs to be different. I think it is crucial.”

Emma Taylor then posed to Nadhim Zahawi MP that “We run the #IWill campaign at StepUpToServe that helps young people do more social action. And we are interested in talking to you Nadhim about our programmes and to spread out the message about our own but also similar programmes also”

Liam Budd from The Princes Trust then raised the question of “We see many of our young people do apprenticeships or who are apprentices and my question for you Nadhim is whether we can add guidance on the apprenticeship levy or the infrastructure of apprenticeships?”

Nadhim responded to Lin Proctors question by saying “Most apprenticeships will now have digital applications and are now further developing the national apprenticeship service website. I am excited to see how it will develop. I don’t believe about black boxes in technology and you must show me that it works and how to it will work. The other area we will look at will be to see if it can integrate with UCAS by exploring the idea of an apprenticeship button or page because young people and educators mostly already know how to use UCAS.”

Nadhim’s response to Emma Taylor’s question was then “I would be more than happy to discuss this with you. Just get in contact and we can explore ideas.”

Nadhim then responded to Liam Budd’s question and said “I have talked to The Princes Trust many times and they have definitely helped me to create and add info to our processes. We must make sure there is quality insurance and the institute will be independent from government to do that. To launch something new you need to keep it to its core. For example when Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook he delivered core service at first and then later added the bells and whistles.”

Chloe Smith then asked the room if they had any more questions and that baroness Corston and Paul warner would then answer their queries.

Simon Reichwald then said “We take employers into schools into all over the UK. We bring employers face to face to young people. I’m really worried that the 3 million number will not be young people. Something needs to be done so that businesses can go into schools. Schools need to not be measured around how many students go to university but also the students who go into jobs.”

Chris Bolton raised the question that “Pearson offers both vocational and academic qualifications and we are aware of both routes having a fully deserved career. The point I want to make about apprenticeships is that we need to talk about the culture around the value of them and the value of a qualification in an apprenticeship? This will also be discussed briefly as well as apprenticeship infrastructure models from leaders such as Switzerland in our new report.”

Baroness Corston then described various adverts she had seen in the past which described the worth of apprenticeships and proving there are other routes than academic. She thought it was a huge mistake that in the UK we are not doing 14-19 education. Her own grandson at 16 phoned her to say I don’t want you to be disappointed in me that I will be leaving school to make furniture. It was only through a family contact that he was then able to do his decided route. She described how it should not be through family contacts, it’s not about who you know but what you know that should matter. This is not a second rate option. She then apologised she then had to leave for another engagement.

Paul Warner then replied by talking about how the 3 million target might be achieved and that he is unsure whether they will be able to engage that amount of young people into apprenticeships. He described how some employers will have no qualifications in their apprenticeships but the standards are very employer led whereas others do have qualifications so the value of the qualification is varied because it is on the employers with no strict standards.

Chloe Smith then introduces Robin Walker who had just come into the meeting so that he could try to answer some of the questions from his position. Robin Walker is the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

Mike Leyland introduced himself to the room and said that he had two apprentices that wanted to speak out.

Ryan an apprentice from Rathbone asked what do you do to talk about apprenticeships in schools?

Charlie also an apprentice from Rathbone asked what about those children without parents that may need support and help with accommodation or support? She told the room how she was living on her own and was finding it hard to live on her apprentice wage.

Robin Walker talked about his time being a member of the APPG for Apprenticeships and that many young people they talked to either weren’t told about apprenticeships or were discouraged to take them up. He said that for schools they should look at the interest of the individual and not school league tables. He discussed how there is a need for a change in destination measures to look at all routes young people take after school and although it will take a while to be filtered in it needs to be done. He made a point of young people who have problems with finding and sustaining accommodation. One solution he brought up was something that had been discussed in the APPG before around the idea of shared accommodation. An organisation in his own constituency helped young people who worked for them by creating shared accommodation so that it would be either at a cheaper rate or for some it would be free.

Baroness Stedman-Scott spoke about how she was involved in some of the changes around benefits and that she had made input to make sure that work should pay and that if it wasn’t working it needed to be filtered in. She described her frustration that the young apprentice had been let down and offered to make sure she was helped by her local constituency to help her find a solution to her problems. She spoke how she found that giving people with no support work a personal coach who could at least help replace the support network would be an amazing idea and the cost effectiveness was a no brainer but most of all the impact it would have would be phenomenal.

A Young person in the room posed the question when apprentices are working like a normal employee why are they not payed the same wage as one?

Paul Warner replied that the argument is that the employer is investing in kind investment into an apprentice and that it will somehow offset some of the pay structure for them. I sort of understand that from an employer view but also can see that it is frustrating for young people because of the pay structure. It isn’t an easy answer to the question and he talked about how Aelp and YEUK did a report on benefits and wages combined called the living wage and young people.

Iain Salisbury talked about how he agreed with Paul. Iain discussed how learndirect get all of their employers to try to get them to pay a normal wage to apprentices. If a company isn’t able to all year round they like to discuss ways in which it can be raised over time. The problem is that the pay may benefit SMEs who can’t afford to pay a normal wage but need an apprentice. But he understands it can be abused and they are against that.

The Young person then further asked what is the actual cost of an apprentice then?

Iain Salisbury responded by saying that it varies for different sized companies as I said before but the gradual pay is definitely is a way forward.

Robin Walker then mentioned that in his own constituency many SMEs and businesses were scared to lose their apprentice after their apprenticeship ended so increased their pay.

Chris Bolton discussed how there needs to be more broad subjects for apprenticeships and that it also include traineeships and to make sure that not ready for work programmes need to be included.

Mike Leyland asked about the non-work ready young people don’t get a lot of funding where would it be?

Chloe: the blunt answer to that would be schools and is something that would be discussed further. A possible further meeting for the APPG to research and take action around.

Chloe smith then rounded up the meeting with the figures of youth unemployment. In the monthly move is a decrease which is a positive. What we have added this month is the regional tables this month. We have figures here for the 12 regions of the UK which includes Northern Ireland and the actual number as well as percentage. Leave you with the notes for food for thought.

End of meeting.

APPG March Meeting Minutes


Meeting on March 23rd 2016

Chloe Smith MP

Robin Walker MP

Michael Tomlinson MP

Danny Kinahan MP – APPG for Education

Baroness Steadman-Scott

Daniel Bradshaw – Office of Lucy Powell MP

Jim Shannon MP


Rayner – Milkround

Francesca Hall – Milkround

Nasmin – Plimco Academy

Lin Proctcor – Plimco Academy

Lauren Mistry – Plotr


Pam Murray

Kieran Murray

Christina Stone – Pearson Education Board

Francis Augusto– London Youth

Ruth Carter – OCR

Laura-Jane Rawlings – Youth Employment UK

Steve Isherwood – AGR

Sam Gordon – AGR


Welcome and Introductions

Chloe Smith welcomes attendees and speakers.

Notice of future meeting dates and events coming up (see agenda)

Monthly youth unemployment stats

ONS Quarterly Stats – Youth unemployment 13.7% up from 13.6% (October – December), down from 16.2% last year.

Lowest level was 11.6% in 2001 and highest level 22.5% in 2011.

Discussion –

MT – What has led to the small increase?

CS – Seasonal work, may have had an impact. Lots of seasonal workers would have finished their roles in the New Year.

LJR – Also some issues with SFA funding of 16-18 traineeships, money has been confirmed now but there was a hold up.


CS – Invited speakers to begin their presentation



Steve Isherwood, Chief Executive of Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) and Sam Gordon, Analyst of AGR


AGR is an employer led association, funded by employer members. It is an impartial organisation helping members understand and respond to the changes in the market and make it work more effectively.


Over 300 members from 17 sectors, recruiting in all regions. 26,000 grads, 12,000 apprentices and 6,000 interns have been recruited by AGR members. The focus of AGR is the structured end of the school leaver/graduate market.


Employers are investing more, more opportunities, vacancies are up across the board this year. Bigger increase in apprenticeships (est 24% increase), 3.7% increase in starting salaries. 13.2% increase in graduate hires in 2015.


It is tricky employers to find the right talent. Ave 65 applicants per vacancy, but 45% of employers couldn’t fill vacancies in 2014.


Most employers don’t care what the degree is 75% of employers don’t state what degree they want.


In other countries the market for pathways is so much more structured, this creates opportunity in the UK.  Young people in other countries are making choices so much earlier.


Organisaitons are concerned over being hit by the levy.


Employers are interested in school leavers as retention is greater, growing own skills.


Expect to see more employers adopt a mix approach to their talent sourcing.


Around ½ members employ apprentices and ¾ in school leaver. Members invest a lot to hire the right talent ave. cost £3k per hire. Marketing entire institutions so changes the approach of employers.


In a recent AGR Survey employers said that more than 80% of graduates lack the skills of Managing up, dealing with conflict and negotiating. But employers would expect that and plan to train young people with these skills.

Problem solving, communication, teamwork, most graduates have these skills.


Managing Up – ability to build relationship with their manager


  • LM is the onus on the graduate?
  • Sam – often these skills are not discussed at university so graduates should not be expected to know what employers look for.
  • SI – Need young people to be experienced in meaningful work experience
  • BDS – Is there any evidence based on maturity, it’s a pretty key relationship with your manager, does this need to put into schools?
  • LP – What do you mean by self-awareness
  • Sam – There is a difference between presentation skills and self-awareness. It means the ability to understand themselves.
  • CS – Do you have year on year data?
  • Sam – This is the first time this data has been done.
  • SI – We are talking about graduate market; which is not quite accurate as its sector specific.
  • Sam – Gaps in skills training. Most employers are investing in the skills and bridging the gap.
  • LJR – Is it the employability or the technical skills employers are having to train?
  • Sam – Most grads have some level of skills. 2/3 technical and 1/3 soft skills
  • SI – Anecdotal – An engineering degree is not linked to employment. Academics may teach what they like/what their specialism is. Real disconnect. Warwick University teach 2 years general engineering and then a specific year.
  • Sam – Employers looking to invest early. Pay their internships. Interns more ready for work. More than 1 advantage to being an intern. Interns stay longer.
  • BDS – Do internships get permanent roles?
  • Sam – No only about ½ – due to employer and intern. Selection process is the same again.
  • SI – Different sector by sector – Banks are different they look to offer as many interns a possible.
  • BDS – Be interesting to find out if the same applied to apprentices.
  • SI – Members say yes. That’s why they want to invest. Employers looking to grow school leaver offer as the ROI is stronger.
  • Sam – On ave grads stay 4 – 5 years (longer than the 2 years we hear about) from an employer point of view they are not building long term workforce – senior managers
  • SI – It does still vary, some employers keep grads for much longer.
  • LY – Is there a referral solution for a grad to move from employer to employer?
  • SI – There is in the engineering sector, there is work going on in the sector to develop the talent pool
  • LJR – Education white paper will look to do this with teachers
  • CS – Will the apprenticeship levy have an impact?
  • LP – Does the 2 years then apply to young people who take on jobs. Rather than graduates?
  • Sam – There is evidence that having a programme and clear progression path retains the graduates. Why employers lose graduates – Slide refers to the share of employers who have had grads leave. – Higher salary 2/3 employers had grads lead. ½ employers have had grads leave as they thought career progressing too slowly.
  • CS – Is someone considered a graduate for two years?
  • SI – The number of years a graduate depends on the role – lawyer, accountant.
  • Sam – It is important that young people get careers information so that they are in the right career.
  • RW – Is this changing?
  • Sam – The story that graduates don’t stay is not true?
  • LM – Are these schemes for young people 5 years after graduations?
  • SI – the law won’t allow employers to state new grads. But grads tend to self-select, grads want to be rid of the mantle. In the US strong culture about recruiting ex-military.
  • MT – New APPG on veterans. To help veterans sign up to opportunities. Also plug for constituency careers fair. 15th of April in Wimborne Dorset.
  • FA – Any identify within your statistics such as gender, race?
  • Sam – Not yet, we can take it on board.
  • LJR – I would say on equalities issue breaking down data on gender would be good.
  • SI – Female graduates are underrepresented in all sectors. They do better in school, with grades etc. but across every sector, not as many women entering grad level jobs.
  • LM – Is it application process?
  • SI – Women more likely to get thorough but they are not applying. Is it about competitiveness, females less likely to take the plunge.
  • LM – Plotr technology study says that a female would not apply if they can’t do the majority of the things on the job spec. But a male is more likely to apply anyway.
  • Sam – grad roles are slowing down, apprenticeship increasing. Hard to analyse as too much not known. Like to think there will be more degree based apprenticeships. Predict that the change in money means that it will be more imperative to get involved. Still up for debate. Organisations supplying into the market are running hot.
  • BSDS – Is it easy to give more money to keep young people.
  • SI – It doesn’t have to be the highest salary, ave £25k
  • LY – Are the expectations of young people not being met.
  • Sam – Expectation of graduates is that they want to move a lot faster than they have the skills to
  • DK – How much work do you do with universities
  • SI – About 100 members are universities
  • DK – I am 2 years into my course and not heard of these key skills such as managing up.
  • LY – is it that the language is different?
  • Sam – Yes good point we need a common skills language.
  • SI – The answer is work experience, in Germany there is a structured work experience offer and this is where these skills are best learnt. Some universities have more places for WEX and can’t fill the places with students. Trying to persuade students to do WEX when it is not mandatory is difficult for universities. 6 months – 12 months is a good opportunity of WEX. Students get to see projects, see a cycle, do meaningful work.
  • LM – It helps the grads stand out from the crowd.
  • SI – It also makes better students when they return to university. Young people generally doing less part-time work than they used to.
  • BDS – Do you have any questions for the audience.
  • Sam- What do you think young people’s expectations are?
  • DK – Lack of information from a university in terms of employment, I am not in my final year but I get nothing. In my final year I have to do a compulsory work experience placement, I didn’t receive as much help as I thought I would. Such as more connections between employers and university. Limited places. 2nd year looking for help and opportunity.
  • SI – More employers going into university career roles. Many universities are recognising employability ranking.
  • LJR – How accurate is the employability ranking?
  • SI – Deli is floored but it is some form of data and its comparable year on year.
  • Sam – How easy it is to act on. What decision does it help a person to make?
  • KM – Not had much guidance at school, lots of emphasis on preparing for university. All my work experience else is what I have found myself. Costs are high so living costs mean you might not look for work experience but look for work.
  • LM – The internships are competitive; the engineering companies are struggling to fill. It varies in location and sector.
  • SI – This is where the apprenticeship levy might change things. Students are choosing university based on the course not the employment outcomes. Employers need to help young people through the interview stage and tweak out the skills and experiences.
  • FH – Young people do not know they have the skills that employers want. No one has coached them or told them. 60,000 school leavers looking for alternatives to university. School leavers apply for 7 different opportunities where a graduate will only apply for 1 thing. School leavers then struggle to articulate their skills.
  • LJR – YEUK launching a new level of membership for young people, which will help them identify their employment skills and see where their own gaps are, encourage them to be young professionals and help employers identify with them.
  • Nazhim – Year 12 student now – year 10 had previously had WEX when I got into year 10 there was none and it had a knock on effect by the time young people got to year 11. When we got into year 12 we got better guidance and support. We would have been more confident getting that guidance early.
  • SI – Schools are being bombarded and it makes it difficult.


BDS – Thanks AGR and closes meeting.


APPG Meeting Minutes February

APPG Meeting – Houses of Parliament

Topic: Youth Obligation

Speaker: Laura Smethurst, Department of Work and Pensions

24th February 2016



Chloe Smith MP – Chair

Michael Tomlinson MP – Vice Chair

Baroness Deborah Stedman-Scott – Vice Chair

Amanda Milling MP

Neil Gray MP

Melanie Onn MP

Laura Smethurst, Department of Work and Pensions

Laura-Jane Rawlings, Youth Employment UK

Shona Lomas, Youth Employment UK

Paul Johnson, Youth Employment UK

Rhiannon Wilson, Youth Employment UK

Harvey Morton, Youth Ambassador at Youth Employment UK

Ruth Carter, OCR

Louise Rochford, City of Westminster College

Ruth O’Sullivan, Centrepoint

Sarah Safo, Centrepoint/London Ambitions

Hadi Khanafer, Centrepoint

Lin Proctor, Future Academies

Yolande Burgess, London Ambitions

Stephanie Sowersby, Vinspired

Johnathan Morris, Vinspired

Frank Funnel, The Brokerage City Link

Richard Bridley, The Princes Trust

Kate Mahoney, YMCA Training

Paul Warner, Aelp

Leo Watson, City Year

Victor Ovenseli, City Year

Ornella Nsio, Talent Match London



Welcome and Introductions:

Chloe Smith welcoming attendance. Introducing DWP and youth Obligation.


All attendees are asked to bring a young person or an employer.


Events / Opportunities in the month ahead: On Agenda



Monthly Youth Employment Statistics: Laura Smethurst giving statistics.


Continuing to make progress with Youth Unemployment. Month on Month falls which is good news.

At the moment 86% of 16 – 24 in Employment or full time education.  We have the lowest proportion of age group that are unemployed. 5.7%


The claimant count is unemployment for JSA and universal claimant 172,000 18 – 24 year olds, lowest since the 1970’s.


Declining number of young people who have been out of work for a year or more.  Down by 91K.


We know that in itself is not enough, we are aware of people who are at risk and we have more to do to stop people being unemployed – 1 million Young people who are NEET we want them to move into full time work or education where appropriate.



Laura Smethurst – Department for Work and Pensions:


Key ways in which we are tackling – ensure Young People have opportunities to earn or learn for a career and reduce risk of young people slipping through the net.


Barriers that young people face – employers recognise this too.


Can be like using a different language. Employers do not recognise skills in young people, not related just to qualifications but also to experience and terminology.


Neil Gray MP asks what is being done to help this:

Laura Smethurst: promoting work experience and travel to work, increasing confidence and recognising how they can sell their experience.


Introducing a three-week active programme working with young people and employers on advertising roles and working on CVs.


More so academic qualifications.


When people are in employment there are weaknesses in some of the core skills within young people.


Melanie Onn MP: How old are they? Are employers looking at school work experience or actual experience within a workplace?


Laura Smethurst: There are a lot of work experience schemes, looking to maintain flexible work experience offer.

WE is not limited to specific types of scheme but broadly tailor and hopefully give a 6-month work place rather than 2 – 8 weeks. How long is appropriate?


Laura-Jane Rawlings explains that DWP are leading with the WE CAN programme.


Concerns from Melanie Onn MP about the quality of the work experience


Laura Smethurst – We are looking at the types of skills and making sure that people will gain relevant experience to the work experience. Collect evidence from the experience, looking at records of what Work Experience looks like, collecting data from that now. Looking at what a tick box might look like – Fair Train, is no good if someone goes to we and gains nothing from it, learning skills like time keeping as this is important to employers.


Some employers and young people may not come away with the same experience, depends on the mentor. The organisations need to be selected carefully so they have something to offer the young people.


Melanie Onn MP: talking about giving a talk within organisations to state what is expected from them regarding employer attitudes and mentoring the young people.


Laura Smethurst: states that employers all – not just large but also medium sized businesses, will be persuaded.


Chloe Smith MP: Frank – worried about debate and WE 15 year olds, more important to get average kids to be proactive, had a group of 40 people going out on WE cohorts. Thinks it is important for the young people to getting involved in part time jobs, voluntary.


Neil Gray MP: Similar experience, met local employer, skills shortage in you is outrageous, struggling to hire and skills gap is not problem it is recognition, how do we bridge this issue to help employers find the right work ready young people.


Laura Smethurst: no answer yet but is top of list and needs to be worked on, we will be asking employers this.


Neil Gray MP: Been to schools, gets the idea that he would be scared to be leaving school and looking for work a:


Laura Smethurst: has listed some of the skills and some of the issues.  /wants to avoid people going on training course after training course – hands out slides. Wants to talk about the design of the Youth Obligation


Has been designed to delivered in universal credit – has great advantages as it allows us to build it in to the regime in supporting not just unemployed but those working in low earnings. April 2017 all young will be eligible for credit, will be assessed if they are able to work or do more in work.


When they first start to make a clam for credit and prior to work search, register immediately to universal job match and upload CV so profile is available.


At diagnostic interview consultant will look at personal circumstances, skills, knowledge and experience and where they want to go in their job search and help people understand the range of opportunities. This will also be used to inform the

Claimant to see if they are changing


Laura-Jane Rawlings: Will they come to the Job Centre?


Laura Smethurst: Day one is day after interview, will be going on a workshop, the work coaches will be working with young people. 71 hours over 3 week’s mixture of 1-2-1 and workshops and learning from each other. Looks at some of the basic skills, work coaches will ask “what websites are you looking at” Most only look at 1 or 2 websites. CV and letters to employers. They take this all away and come to another workshop two weeks later. Has already seen big change in motivation in the young people who have been going through the trial. S being trialled in a number of areas.


In the first three weeks of the claim the aim is to build on their learning, will receive additional support and talk about any more barriers that have not been uncovered yet, including budget support, basic skills training, encourage to go on sector based skills training, classroom and work based training – employers who sign up to this will guarantee an interview – not a job.


WE will have a high number of people going through this, being monitored for 21 weeks to gather information and data, will be encouraged to apply for apprenticeships. Work coaches will have access to the support fund, if claimants need clothing for interviews and travelling.


For those who are in work all of the above will be available on a voluntary basis, will have a commitment that you have to demonstrate how you intend to increase work hours and roles with employment, stop gaps in employment history, what methods of engagement with employers. Will have follow up interviews to see what progress is being made. In work progression plans.


One of the things we know people leave benefits very quickly, universal credits means we can improve business recycling.


Chloe Smith: can we track this per person?

Laura Smethurst: The JSA regime tracks and we have links with this, we have links with job centre Universal


Neil Gray MP: How does it work if someone wants to increase the work?


Laura Smethurst: One of things we are doing for those on UC for 6 months, if you are not in work or applied for an apprenticeship or volunteered – we will refer them to a work experience placement and a consultant. WE do not want us putting everyone on a work experience placement, how can we design this to be more progressive as employers will not allow this.


Stephanie Sowersby: Problem trying to get reference from JS from those who have been doing unpaid work experience placements.


Leo Watson: Recruit 18 – 25 year olds as volunteers and do one year helping deprived areas, all points today are about people lacking skills, our core is to put young people at the heart of everything. A number of organisation work on the module homelessness, conservation etc. Nearly 1 Million young people have taken this up, have no legal recognition or recognised for being in this year of volunteering, NI contributions for signing on, gives skills and working hours, careers development, interview skills, CV skills but still not recognised. Employment rate over 6 years is 97% have gone from volunteering to full time employment.


Richard Bridley: sounds like comprehensive and sensible might be a challenge, some of the activities might be better later on like writing CVS as Confidence building is more important and the soft skills to learn upfront otherwise they might not come back.



Ornella Nsio: Talent Match agrees as the main issues are confidence, single parents, circumstantial.


Laura Smethurst: diagnostic interview had someone who is homeless, needed special support.


Laura-Jane Rawlings: really urges people to view the report that Talent Match have produced.


Laura Smethurst: speaks about those people who are falling though the net.


Louise Rochford: Finding a challenge at the moment trying to find suitable work placements for those who have learning difficulties.


Are they going to be specifically trained to deliver this programme?


Laura Smethurst: the work coaches – yes they are.


Chloe Smith MP Closes – any further questions can be directed through Laura-Jane Rawlings.


Laura Smethurst: if you have severe complex needs you would not fit into Universal Credit  – you would be signposted to another form of the Youth Obligation, Youth Obligation is for people that have been diagnosed as able to work.


Chloe Smith MP: glad at the level of questions. Wants to finish to state how we run the APPG, we need help to get more people, find your MP put in postcode, office or home. Wants more MP’s at meeting, we are here to encourage MPs to attend so they can hear our voice within the sector. If there are any problems then Chloe will give them a prompt.


Youth Employment UK have a formal letter and we have the database of the local MPs and if anyone else wants to push then let Laura-Jane Rawlings know.


Thank you to everyone for attending and to Laura-Jane Rawlings.



Closed meeting.