Minutes Of Meeting 20th January 2016

Minutes for the APPG for Youth Employment

20th Janaury 2016

International landscape of youth unemployment



Chloe Smith MP – Chair of APPG for Youth Employment

Adriana Poglia – Peace Child

Izzy Hatfield – IPPR

Lisa Abrahams – UCAS Progress

Linn Proctor – Future Academies

Frank Funnel – Brokerage City Link

Laura-Jane Rawlings – Youth Employment UK

Zoe Hamilton – City Year

Leo Watson – City Year

Ruth Carter – OCR

Ruth O’Sullivan – CentrePoint

Ashayne – Sky

Claire Morgan – Sky

Sam Willet – ERSA

Abi Pike – The Dianna Award

Elisha – The Dianna Award

Oliver – Family & Chid Care Trust

Chris Green MP – Vice Chair of APPG for Youth Employment

Robin Walker MP – Member of APPG for Youth Employment


Point 1.

Minutes from previous meeting – Approved

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

Feb meeting will on the 24th

Meeting time change will be 2pm on a Wednesday


Point 2.

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


Point 3

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

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

The claimant count is down which is welcome.




Izzy Hatfield – Research Fellow IPPR

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

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


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

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

Could we learn anything?

Characteristics of the counties that perform well –

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


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

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


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


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


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


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


Adriana Poglia – Peace Child


Sub-Sahara and Africa focus

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Chris Green MP – Are there sanctions?

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


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


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


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


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


Chloe Smith MP – Thanks speakers


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


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


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

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


Chris Green MP – KPMG and EY removing graduate boundaries.


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


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


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


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


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


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


Lin Proctor – Parents need support to understand pathways


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


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


Robin Walker MP – Youth mentors are really important.


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


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


Claire Morgan – How are young people compensated –


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


Ashayne – Volunteering should be promoted more.


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


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


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


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


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


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


Chloe Smith MP – Closing the meeting


Minutes Of Meeting 18th November 2015

18th November

4th Youth Employment APPG Session




Chloe Smith (MP and APPG Chair)

Michael Tomlinson (MP)

Chris Green (MP)

Stephen Twigg (MP)

Ruth Cadbury (MP)

Laura-Jane Rawlings (Youth Employment UK)

Kenechi Eziefula (Youth Employment UK)

Yolande Burgess (London Councils)

Lin Proctor (Future Acadmies)

Alxander Lee (National Union of Students)

Caroline Williams (Norfolk Chamber of Commerce)

Bridget Gardiner (The Brokerage)

Lauren Mistry (Plotr)

Lilly Clifford (Plotr)

Tessy Ojo (The Diana Award)

Fahan Ibrahim-Hashi (The Diana Award/Student)

Paul Welch (Prospects)

Ruth O’Sullivan (Centrepoint)

Gina Bradbury (UCAS)

Harvey Morton

Ruth Carter (OCR)

Sarah Chander (UKCES)

Consolata Ndungu (UKCES)

Stephanie Sowesby (Task Squad/vInspired)

Rikki Garcia (vInspired)

Marcus Jamison-Pond (Walpole Media Group)

Rosanna Singler (Leonard Cheshire Disability)

Ornella Nsio (London Youth)

Francis Augusto (London Youth)

Gemma Hopkins (ERSA)

Peace Omorogbe (City Year)

Leo Watson (City Year)

Sarah Buckley (MIlkround)

Huwaina Amir (Milkround)

Helen Suffolk (Acorn Training)

Meg Pilgrim (Acorn Training)

Lloyd Ross (YEUK)

Chloe Smith MP

Minutes of last meeting – call to notify any updates

Asking Members to bring a young person or business colleague to attend future meetings, keen to ensure both young people and people from business are heard at the meetings.

Ask to write to MP and invite them to get MPs to join the group

Next meeting is on the 16th of November

Parliamentary News

BIS are leading an inquiry into the routes available to young people

Education and BIS Select Committees working more closely together


Skills Show 17th – 19th November in Birmingham

Inclusion Conference 24th November

Youth Employment UK Conference on the 1st December

ONS Figures

ONS and Claimant Count

ONS 14.2% down

Claimant 3.0% down


Laura-Jane Rawlings, Chief Executive Officer from Youth Employment UK

Landscape of careers education in England. See attached PowerPoint

The landscape of careers education has really changed over the last 5 or 6 years. In 2011 the education act came in, which reformed the way careers education was previously managed by schools. At that point we had a nationwide Connexions or Careers Service available for all schools to access, and they were duty bound to provide work experience and guidance through those service that were available to them.

In 2011 that duty changed, and funding was removed from the Connexions service, with schools given the duty to deliver their own careers education services, the idea that they knew their students better and could provide local information based on the needs of their individual students.

The duty upon schools is to provide impartial careers education for students in Year 8 all the way through to Year 11 pupils. Following the changes OFSTED did a thematic review of careers education in 2013, they found that out of 60 schools only 12 of the schools they assessed provided careers education at the level that was needed for students.

Youth Employment UK produced a report in 2015 following research with its young members and found similar. Even given the focus that came out of OFSTED and the DfE after that review, careers education has not seen the dramatic improvement that is needed to significantly help young people to make a successful transition.

During that time there has been an increase in long term youth unemployment, although we are seeing short term youth unemployment going down, those young people who are furthest away from the labour market are really struggling now to be able to progress.

There is a really open careers market, which is one of the concerns we have.  By removing the funding for Connexions lots of private providers were created. This created a logistical problem for schools to navigate – who is available and what services are available to them?

A select committee report last year found that careers education is really failing young people.

This year we have had investment of the DfE and The Careers & Enterprise Company who have been tasked with £20 million budget to produce a careers education service and infrastructure to help schools. Unfortunately, they can’t be here today, their priority is to create within the LEP (Local Enterprise Areas), a hub of careers and enterprise providers which will have 1 or 2 full time staff to help coordinate careers services with schools, with an emphasis on local employers offering volunteers, to help schools access local employers and activities for students.

Going back to my open market point, if you google careers education there are 125 million resources. When you are a 16-24-year-old who is desperately looking for employment and doesn’t have the support around them to help them, 125 million resources is just too much.

As an example, I spoke to one of our young members on Friday last week who has been looking for work in Manchester for 3 years. She is struggling every day, it is hard for her to find good information that is impartial and real, and she is not coping well. With so much information it is hard for her to identify who can help, where that help is, and what is impartial and real quality. To really illustrate the point [refer to slideshow] this shows some of the organisations that are around in the careers education space. On top of that, we have so many local societies, organisations, employers and schools creating their own careers information that even at a local level there is too much data for young people to navigate.

Our research (available on the APPG website) shows that 58% of the young people that responded to our survey had had a careers adviser at school or college. However, only 1% received advice on all their options. We found that some school careers advisers only gave advice on the pathway from sixth form to university. There are lots of different routes out there for young people, and there is a huge deficit of plurality of options given to the young people.

None of the young people who took part in the survey had been advised about traineeships.

All of the young people that took part thought that the education system needs to do much more.

The recommendations from young people in our survey are;

  • Careers education needed to be compulsory. They felt this was really important, particularly work experience, which many feel has been a problem.
  • Ensuring that all pathways are covered, including apprenticeships and vocational learning.
  • Inclusion of entrepreneurial skills in education
  • Providing opportunity to meet employers in a school setting
  • Young people certainly feel they need a greater understanding of the world of work and what to expect. One of the big missing things is making career hunting skills available and understandable.

Lin Proctor, Careers Lead at Future Academies

I am based in London, and am part of an Academy that has 1 secondary school, Pimlico Academy, and then 3 primary schools. We are in the middle of London with about ¾ of our pupils on free school meals.

Schools currently face so many challenges, and with the sharp focus on exam results, and implementing a vast array of curriculum changes, the non-essential element of careers advice is what often gets ignored. What can be measured is what gets done. This is completely true for careers advice and guidance, and it is interesting what young people have said there as well. So if it does work well in schools I think it is generally because of enlightened Heads and Governors.

Another issue for schools is a lack of clarity about what good looks like and a lack of vision about how to achieve that. Research tells us we must provide this careers advice to our young people.

I think this is where London Ambitions, which Yolande has championed, can make a difference, and this amazing piece of work here is designed to provide schools with a made to measure manual on how to make it happen.

How can we make it happen?:

  1. I believe this absolutely, you have to have the senior leadership team in school on board. And certainly a governor will help to shine the light.

2 You can start early. London Ambitions looks at KS2 kids getting involved. And that is something that we at our Academy certainly could do. A gentle slope of activity from primary school that gets steeper as our kids progress through secondary school.

  1. A key dictate in the London Ambitions report is the 100 hours of experience in the world of work. We the panel considered this closely and think at with all the options this should be easily achievable and I think that work experience can be great, but there are many other things that can give good experience.
  2. I have found that we are most successful when engaging with parents, this is the best way forward and is surprisingly not done enough.

A few examples, 1 from Year 8 and one from Year 12: Two weeks ago we went to the science museum courtesy of Shell, and they were launching an eco-fireworks campaign and invited our school to come. We did three difference workshops, fireworks, coding and making cars.

It was a fabulous day, the students were very engaged, it was an introduction to difference careers. Unsurprisingly what excited them the most was setting up fireworks, so lots of them my end up firework designers!

For Year 12 we were working with a team that really wanted to give back and help them understand financial matters. We had a small panel of students to help frame the workshops, to make sure it was relevant, who may have been interested in financial details. It did what it said on tin, and made them more financially aware.

The team that delivered the workshop first described their own education and career journeys. We were already told their professional routes, but the stories underlined it. It shows the myriad of careers options and job opportunities and pathways to large companies. That alone was eye opening for them.

What if we don’t do this? Successful careers advice can really make up for a lack of social capital and make a huge difference in assisting social mobility. Many young people in a school like mine simply do not have the social capital that they might have in other schools to do these things themselves, and if we don’t help them, they aren’t going to get help from home, as their parents do not know how, even if they want to help, nor do they have the large network to look to through their families.

My top tips are to develop proper plan, [recap of the numbered section previous].

We must collaborate with a wealth of organisations keen to work with schools, like London Ambitions.

I think that what schools don’t do well is that when you have a good relationship with a client, you have to work very hard with organisations and keep them as a client.

We have also looked at badging, so that young people know what they’ve done and the skills they’ve learnt, and also looking at an online portfolio so they can keep track of those skills.

It is not enough just to know what pathways they have but also to show them how to navigate them. At Pimlico we have a saying qualifications are essential but not enough.

What success looks like to me in this amazing city is that every child feels excitement, not dread, thinking about their future beyond school, that they are prepared and are engaged and excited to become part of the workforce.

So what can you do? Maintain a keen eye on this crucial and understated area. Should it be an OFSTED accountability measure? Yes if there is no CEIAG element then an outstanding OFSTED judgement should not be available.

Finally, we need to make sure that qualifications are not all that young people leave school with.

Chloe Smith: Thank you. Both of those presentation have given us more than enough facts to work on. I’d like to invite points from the audience.

Caroline Williams:  A question for Laura-Jane, about your research. One of the things we try and do is everything you’ve said, but it is very hard.

We try to get to know the actual heads of the schools, and all of them are very keen. What we find quite challenging is that when you talk to young people they talk about subjects and hobbies they like, schools talk about subjects, but businesses talk about careers and sectors and this is not the same language. How much do young people know what to use maths for?

LJ: Language barriers are a problem. Our research and others have recognised this. Some young people do go into an interview and find they simply cannot turn what they’ve learnt in school to terms the employer will understand.

Paul Welch: Yes language is problem, and there is a challenge for the teaching profession to look at their subjects and see how they can lead to wold of work. Initial teacher training does not cover this either.

LJ: There are many calls for teachers to have CPD. Many teachers now finish education then are bang back into classroom as teacher. There are some efforts to get teachers to get more training.

Many young people still do not have functional skills, even with passing C grades in Maths and English, according to a training provider that I have been having conversations with. Many come to them without those functional skills. These need to be focused on in school as they are much more relevant in world of work. There is a disconnect here.


Bridget Gardiner: I can second that. We work with a lot of corporates, in professional and financial services. We hear a lot that many of the young people have great CV’s but are not capable with functional English and Maths skills.

Steven Twigg MP: Even when they have the A-C in English and Maths? Extraordinary!

Acorn Training: We are just preparing students to have examinations in schools, not teaching them how to apply them, or the concepts which may be analytical, to the world of business. We are desperately lacking.

I rejoice when I hear about the opportunities from Lin. We have travelled from Derbyshire, constantly listed in the top 10 most deprived areas. It is hard to hear them labelled like this, and then the only opportunities for them are to travel out. Travelling out of their confines is very difficult for them.

We have engaged with nearly 1000 NEET pupils in a project with European Social Funding, and we have been very successful.

Problems are that many schools do not want us to come in as they are trying to get English and Maths lessons all done. There is such a high level of unemployment that nobody is raising the aspirations of the students. We try to get to talk to them about other opportunities available, but we can’t always give them the time for informed decision making that they all need, as much is done by teachers without a careers advisory background. I can see this from both sides. From the teaching profession and careers advice, that the education system failing on this. We are, Acorn Training, we deliver training from Level 1.

Chloe Smith MP: Can we get some young person input, from Youth Employment UK Ambassadors or others? Lloyd, can you give us some input on this, and some of the work you’ve been doing with Youth Employment UK?

Lloyd: I was lucky enough to get internship over summer with a company that works with Youth Employment UK, and am out of university.

I am doing report with Youth Employment UK on living wage report.

I would make a point that, in my experience, my careers education was totally surrounding tests. If it wasn’t on the curriculum, then it wasn’t going to be covered. If it was something like train time tables, this can be applied to real world, but it is just not. Everything is about tests and there is no real world accountability. I did want to go to university, but there were no other options available to me. I do think there are fundamental failings. I know I can’t speak for every young adult but we need to speak to young people as young adults, not patronise them.

Dianna Award YP: I have been volunteering with them since school. It is a youth focused organisation, so as I grew up I realised I was best placed to advise those young people coming up behind me.

I agree that we should bring in those who are working, so that successful graduates don’t disappear into the companies.

The Diana award does a lot of youth mentorship to raise aspirations, and a lot in the Lambeth area. Organisations themselves should encourage young people to become mentors. They are the ones who can advise young person to take the right careers paths, encouraging them that getting their A or B in Maths and English can lead to meaningful jobs, and getting them to help in their community. This is how I got to do more and this would be great.

UKCES: As a young Londoner, I was not able to get careers advice at school. Looking at Derbyshire, if we just focus everything on London, what happens to the rest of the UK? This is a risk. We have just learnt yesterday that there will be large administrations in the north, in Liverpool, agreements devolving skills to that level.

The key is engaging at the local level, and the national level, but focus on the local level with action on the ground. Knowing that all these services need to be delivered at the local level or else nothing will be changed.

Chloe Smith MP: And you think careers education should be something that should be focused on locally?

UKCES: Yes. We can’t just focus on London and have everywhere else be ignored. National is great, but there are local strategic challenges. London is very different to Manchester. London growing and changing cannot lead to everywhere being ignored.

Steven Twigg MP: I Second that totally, as I used to be London MP, and am now a Liverpool MP. Devolution deal point is important, as shaping the skills but also vocational education for the city region will be very important when it goes ahead.

Cities in general are motoring ahead, in the rest of UK there are challenges such as coastal and former industrial areas that are having the most problems at the moment. So we should focus on local areas, not just city regions. Many of the companies that London and Liverpool schools can get access to are more problematic for those from other regions to gain access to.

Paul Welch: It is good to focus on local area, but would be good if young people were entitled to access basic good quality professional careers adviser and guidance.

You need to be a bit lucky as it is a lottery where you go to school, but you should feel entitled to get this stuff. It’s not something that would be a good thing to have, but should be an entitlement to have.

Leo Watson: We recruit 18-25s to volunteer in schools to, get real experience of real world.

Find people that leave university and feel lost come to City Year and then see what it’s like to work in real world. On Fridays we give them training and mentoring from big companies, careers fairs and other such. Peace can talk more about it.

Peace Omorogbe: Volunteering for City Year gave me lots of experience, you get to do a lot with a number of different employers. I like that this is an opportunity young person can go to and gives time and support to build themselves.

Yolande Burgess: This may sound extraordinary from me [London Ambitions], but we need to understand that careers are global. We need people to understand there are lots of jobs out there that aren’t confined to the city.

We need to have national services, it shouldn’t be about where you live or go to school, and we, need to tell people about global opportunities.

It would not stem from a particular city or part of country. It should be essential component of what that national entitlement should be.

Chloe Smith MP: Need to talk about entitlement point. We know it is an entitlement, but it is about how you deliver it.

We need to focus on how to ensure every child has this entitlement to years of careers education between 5 and 18 that is successfully delivered by schools.

Ruth Cadbury MP: I’m a new Labour MP from Brentford, and was leading on women and low pay debate before I arrived.

I would like to speak from my own experience. For 25 years I was a councillor for Hounslow. From 2010 2013 I had a role for economic development and so on. I have a lot of experience, especially from the 80s when I was first a councillor, and find that this debate has not moved on at all!

The challenge of getting young people and employers to meet and match their expectations is hard, West London is no different.

We here in London, and West London in particular have unique challenge in that that many who work in West London borough do not live there, and vice versa. We need to get the young people onto the same page with employers, teachers and careers advisors on economic business partnership.

As a parent, in my experience, my sons did not see a careers advisers. So their aspirations matched my husband’s experience. My kids did A ‘Levels then went to university not because they really believed in that pathway, but because everyone, school and parents all told them to go to university.

The language and image that people receive is dominated by people who have had one university path background. It is not just parents, but teachers are mostly humanities graduates, as with broadsheet writers all write from their experience. So it is going to be very difficult to get message over to young people to show them that there are other alternate pathways.

Employers really want to join in and help employ young people, but do not know how to get in touch with schools. Employers, where do they come in, what level, find time where? When schools are little more than exam factories, well-meaning and committed head teachers want to help, but find no time and no space due to exam agenda.

As a result employers have to look very far and very wide. We have employers looking at skills gaps, and we have an aging workforce. In West London, there are many young people unemployed or on low-wage contracts. We struggle to find young people to get in and progress forwards.

All of these initiates mentioned can be great, but they are individual success stories. There is not yet a national strategy on this, which is where I believe we should work on.

Alexander Lee: On the point of helping young people on the language, to more broadly helping the understand the breadth of options.  I think that all the things we have been talking about shows the importance of keeping careers advice and education face to face, as this helps them have the opportunity to be talked through anything they don’t understand.

What we do see is that quite a lot are moving to online information, and this proliferation can lead to information overload. For young people who don’t understand these things it’s not helpful.

So if we do really want to help people understand what skills they have and fit into the language that will lead to getting employed, I think this type of careers advice should be looked at.

Laura-Jane Rawlings: Agree with sentiment, but when we had careers adviser face to face it wasn’t very good. We had high levels of unemployment with that type of careers guidance.

So stepping back is not always the answer. We need something new, like a careers entitlement for all young people, that brings in face to face for the students that really need it, but uses a mix of quality provision for all students so no one is left out.

It is about understanding the individual needs of our young people, to make sure the person providing it is quality and have the tools to deliver it, and deliver it better.

Stephanie Sowersby: I work for Tasksquad, a youth recruitment agency in London which has been around for a year. I meet 18-25 year olds every day to assess them for our recruitment agency, and put them into paid work, especially using the skills they’ve gained from their volunteering, and other employment history, to really highlight the skills they gained.

One of the struggles that we find young people have is that they know that experience they want, but struggle with job hunting skills, struggle to pick up the phone and talk to me as a professional, not being late to appointments as such.

CV builder is what we have developed, just to make what we do possible, because we could not send half the CVs we were getting. Even the people from the top Universities were handing were leaving university with appalling CV skills.

This needs to be tackled before leaving education, it needs to be tackled at school. There needs to be a look at the curriculum and emphasise email communication, instead of letter writing, as part of school curriculum, as we do not send letters any more.

Many young people do not understand the tone and how to sound professional via email. This type of job hunting skill needs to be looked at.

Peace Omorogbe: Just to add as a young person doing volunteering work, careers advisers only empathise on university and not voluntary work. Volunteering is not given the same level of credibility as an internship.

Paul Welch: Careers advice needs to be high quality, up to date with the market, developing their knowledge of the changing world of work, and capable. Face to face is not all bad, it still needs to exist.

Looking in the past, we have seen some is good, some is bad, but you can’t take face-to-face guidance away, as this would mean young people would not have opportunity to sit, reflect and talk to somebody who can help steer them through the myriad of options before them.

Helen Suffolk: However, we move forward, let’s have synergy between what the government initiatives are, the Wolf Report is fantastic at embodying real life business experience at everything we do.

We need to get all involved, right at the top, the LEAs, synergy right across should be the message going forward.

Prince’s Trust: On how are schools validated in ways of young people.

This means only university is prioritised. Anything other than university, apprenticeships, volunteering is seen as bad. For pupil that go onto university, schools see this as looking better.

What about incentive to get schools to give proper advice and open up pathways into sustainable work.

An issue is that, essentially, people do go from benefit office to work, then go back to benefit office. We need a long term solution. It is a frustrating thing to be in benefit office, to be unemployed.

Can we now try and give the young unemployed confidence and availability to seek out their options, otherwise there will just be a cycle?

When I left Princes Trust, I left went straight into an internship. Although I had done many previously, this one worked, as I had confidence from Princes Trust, as well as just knowing I could actually do it. After a month and a bit, I got a manager job, so I now run an office based in East London that supports 40 businesses. So, these real tangible things can be done, we just need to get schools involved to have the incentive to do that.

Chloe Smith: Thank you so much, that is a incredibly helpful point to end on. It puts me on mind of a report from YMCA was given in parliament the other day, about the way the work that the job centre does could be better tailored to what people say they want from their careers.

Today was a good conversation. It was very deep and wide ranging. Thank you to everyone who contributed and our speakers.

We will be sending notes and minutes to relevant MPs, reviewing how our first 3 meetings have went, and then will send out details for the New Year. Thanks for coming.

Minutes Of Meeting 21st October 2015

All-Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Employment

Welcome – Chloe Smith MP

Chair and introductions, agenda

Laura-Jane Rawlings – Youth Employment UK

Stewart Segal – AELP

Christina Stone – Pearson

Stuart Jackson MP

Frank Funnell – The Brokerage CityLink

London Youth

Rosey Simmonds – Peace Child

Jenny Barnes – Centre Point

Andre Chickro – MYP

Stephen Twigg MP

Kenechi Eziefula – Youth Employment UK

Marcus Mason – British Chambers of Commerce

Robin Walker MP

Michael Tomlinson MP

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

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

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

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

-Begin Presentations-


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fair Train want to work with APPG and Partners

Full Text

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

Kate Shoesmith – REC


3,500 members

Recruiters know what is happening in the jobs market

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Full Text

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

Yolande Burges – London Councils

Umbrella body of all the borough councils.


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

7 recommendations

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


From age of 7 – embedded in the curriculum

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


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

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

Dr Deidre Hughes Careers Curriculum

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

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

London Ambitions – Scaleable.

Full Text

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

Presentations End

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


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

Full Text

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


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

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

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

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

Doesn’t cost – forms part of embedding

Full Text

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

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

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


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

Full Text

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


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

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

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

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

Full Text

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


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

Full Text

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


Chloe Smith – Balance between local and national

Full Text

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


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

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

Schools are challenges already so volunteering van help

Full Text

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


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

Full Text

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


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

Full Text

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


Chloe Smith – What should we do as a group?

Full Text

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

Full Text

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

Full Text

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


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


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

Full Text

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


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

Governors network and teaching networks.

Full Text

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


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

Full Text

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

Full Text

Chloe Smith: “Any other burning questions?”


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

Full Text

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


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

How can we get Councils to be a conduit locally?

ASCL Brian Larmen

Full Text

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

Full Text

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

Minutes Of Meeting 16th September 2015

APPG Youth Employment

1st Session

16th September 2015



Chloe Smith MP

Baroness Deborah Steadman-Scott

Michael Tomlinson MP

Chris Green MP

Andrew Taggart – The Found Generation

Lizzie Crowley – The Work Foundation

Laura-Jane Rawlings – Youth Employment UK

Kenechi Eziefula – Youth Employment UK

Statistics on Youth Employment

Chloe Smith MP presented the latest youth unemployment data published by the House of Commons Library – Youth Unemployment Statistics

The report highlighted that 723,000 16-24 were unemployed in May-July 2015, down 17,000 from the previous quarter.

Andrew Taggart – highlighted that youth unemployment was not shifting at structural levels and was likely falling at a slower pace than previously seen as the government has benefited from the “easy wins.”

A discussion took place on exploring the hidden youth unemployment data and underemployment, as there is a belief that the number of young people “hidden” or underemployed is increasing, which affects overall productivity and it is harder to access support.

Deborah Stedman-Scott advised the APPG of the need to agree base stats that we all work to. Intervention strategies need to be based on this agreement. This was agreed by Chloe Smith MP.

Lizzie Crowley gave her presentation on youth unemployment and the structural causes.  You can download the presentation now in the resource section of the APPG website.

Highlighted Points:

  • Evidence points to a growing structural youth unemployment problem. Long term youth unemployment in the UK has been on a long term upward trend since the early 2000’s – so even while the economy was growing and employment was rising.
  • The reasons behind the long term rise in youth unemployment are not entirely well understood. However, one of the most likely explanations is that long running changes in the economy have disadvantaged new entrants to labour market – particularly young people who leave school with few formal qualifications.
  • The types of jobs that young people generally work in are concentrated at the lower end of the labour market – in elementary or unskilled occupations, many of which are in the hospitality sector, or in sales and customer services roles.

Together these provide around half of all job opportunities for young workers in the UK labour market.

  • However these occupations have been in long term decline a trend which has accelerated during the recession and recovery. Growth has been concentrated at the top end of the labour market in highly skilled professional and managerial roles whilst mid skilled occupations and low skilled occupations have continued to contract.
  • The opportunities that do exist are increasingly being taken up by older more experienced workers, themselves displaced by declining mid-skilled jobs.
  • In the future this trend looks set to continue – over the next decade growth will be concentrated in higher skilled occupations while there will be continued hollowing out of mid and low skilled work.
  • Young people are increasingly concentrated in service sector jobs – roles which require them to demonstrate soft skills – skills which are very difficult to demonstrate without work experience. Yet fewer young people are combining work and study and many leave education without ever having had a paid job. This seriously disadvantages when they face competition for entry level roles from older more experienced workers.
  • It also means that qualifications more important than ever – there is a significant wage premium for graduates who have very low unemployment rates whilst those who leave education with few formal qualifications suffer a large employment penalty
  • The polarisation of the labour market has also led to concerns about concerns about limited progression and lack of effective career ladders in low wage service sector employment.
  • The polarisation of the labour market has also happened in many other European countries albeit to a lesser extent.
  • Yet countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark have managed to maintain consistently low levels of youth disengagement despite the global recession and changes in the nature of work.
  • In the case of these countries youth labour market has been sheltered from these changes by a strong vocational education and training system and supportive youth policy.
  • However in the UK, whilst vocational education has been at the forefront of government reforms and growth in apprenticeships has been heralded as an out and out success story, they are still a very weak route into the labour market for young people.
  • A concern that many apprenticeships have gone to existing employees or those 19 + rather than new entrants to the labour market.
  • There are also major issues not just with quantity and access but with the quality of the apprenticeships on offer.
  • We also know that other countries with low levels of youth unemployment have a strong youth jobs market with lots of opportunities for young people to combine work and learning – as shown by this chart – ensuring that they developed valuable experience to help them build skills and access work whilst completing education.

The UK on the other hand is experienced a collapse in the number of young people combining work and study

  • Looking forward, key risks on the transition of young people from school to work include:
  • Ensuring recovery broadens and is sustainable – limited impact of youth labour market so far – risks leaving young people behind
  • Clarifying non-academic pathways
  • Very complex local pathways for ’the other 50 per cent’ with limited advice and no equivalent of UCAS available to guide people through getting to college or applying for an apprenticeship
  • Strengthening further education provision – Weaknesses in further education provision which leaves 1.5 million learners in the post-16 learning and skills sector in provision rated less than good. Further education is less generously funded than higher education and has been subject to large cuts. There are concerns that the sector has historically had weak incentives to ensure that students find work.
  • Incentives for schools to identify and re-engage young people still remain weak, though accountability changes and the introduction of destinations data may help
  • Improving the careers guidance offer – Ofsted reports that three-quarters of schools failing in duty to secure appropriate careers advice and guidance
  • Simplifying support and funding – One study has found that at least eight national organisations, funding 33 different funds and schemes, spanning 13 different age groups to aid transition to different destinations
  • Greater local co-ordination of youth services – Local authorities have formal responsibility for NEETs, but the activity of more than 10 per cent of 16–18-year-olds in local authority data on NEETs is ‘unknown’
  • Increased employer engagement

Laura-Jane Rawlings referenced a recent EU Youth Affairs report that highlighted much of the issues brought to light in The Work Foundation report.

Andrew Taggart gave his presentation on the current policy landscape around youth unemployment. Summarising that there are many good initiatives but not good enough on their own and they are far from clear.

BIS target of 3 million apprenticeships is ambitious and there are still questions around quality and if there is a focus on ensuring apprenticeships go to young people in new posts, rather than reskilling existing staff.

DWP are looking at the Youth Obligation which may force young people to take unpaid work experience, there is questions over whether this will help young people make a positive transition or deter young people from finding help through the JCP.

DfE have invested in The Careers and Enterprise Company a £20 million investment which will provide a network of volunteers from business supporting individual schools with their careers education strategy. The Careers and Enterprise Company will also be investing in an Enterprise Passport and amongst other service.

LJR: There are frameworks for some schools are very invested in careers education. But is a post code lottery schools are not required to have it and it is not governed.

LC: ¾ of schools are failing in securing adequate careers advice. Shocking but schools have not been given extra funding to do so.

  1. A large part of what the APPG needs to do, is highlight the areas of good practice where real barriers for young people are being addressed at a local level. Baroness Deborah Steadman-Scott was asked about programmes that are working such as Tomorrow’s People and the mentoring it provides.

BDSS: What has worked best is that TP have got coaches in London for young people aged 14-19 that are not projected to get good grades or have low engagement.  The coach is part of management team in schools. The coaches are reducing NEETS (not in Education, Employment or Training) in that cohort by huge percentages. If we can get more of these in schools we would make a big difference.

LJR: More work needs to be done to join some of the really good initiatives at a local level bringing in the Jobcentre and other providers so there is a cohesive approach in communities.

LJR: Thanked colleagues for attending and confirmed the next meeting will be on the 21st of October, with the location to be confirmed as a bigger room may be needed.

Minutes Of Meeting 20th July 2015

Minutes of Meeting

20th July 2015

Agenda Items

  1. Youth Unemployment Figures
  2. Topics and dates for forthcoming meetings
  3. DWP Campaign for disadvantaged groups
  4. Inviting other relevant APPG’s to join the APPG for Youth Employment
  5. Youth Unemployment Figures

729,000 young people aged 16-24 were unemployed in March to May 2015, down 13,000 on the previous quarter and down 92,000 on the previous year.

The unemployment rate (the proportion of the economically active population who are  unemployed) for 16-24 year olds was 15.9%, down 0.2 percentage points from the previous quarter and down 1.9 percentage points from the previous year.

Long term youth unemployment

156,000 people aged 16-24 had been unemployed for over 12 months in March to May 2015, down 43,000 on the previous quarter and down 61,000 on the previous year. 21% of unemployed 16-24 year olds had been unemployed for over 12 months.

For full report click here.

  1. Topics and dates for forthcoming meetings

The following dates and topics were proposed by Chloe Smith MP.  Suggested speakers and experts were put forward by Laura-Jane Rawlings.  YEUK the Secretariat of the APPG to invite speakers.

Date Topics Speakers
16th September 2015 ·         Youth employment statistics

·         Summary of youth unemployment history and data

·         Review of existing policy

Work Foundation (to be invited)

House of Commons Library (to be invited)

Found Generation (to be invited)

21st October 2015 Work Experience

·         Aims and objectives of national Work Experience Campaign

·         Best Practice

DWP (to be invited)

Fair Train (to be invited)

18th November 2015 Careers Education

·         Introduction of The Careers and Enterprise Company

·         Young people’s views

The Careers & Enterprise Company (to be invited)

Young Members of YEUK

16th December 2015 DWP approach to youth unemployment Priti Patel MP (invited)
20th January 2015 National and International landscape and approaches to youth unemployment TBC

Organisations wishing to speak at the meetings can submit a Pro-Forma expression of interest via the APPG website – https://appgyouthemployment.org/

  1. DWP Campaign for disadvantaged groups

DWP have begun a national campaign to highlight the opportunities for employers to work with people from disadvantaged groups, including young people.  This campaign will run largely on social media and will take best practice from employers who currently support people from disadvantaged groups and showcase their work.

The campaign is called #SeePotential

  1. Inviting other relevant APPG’s to join the APPG for Youth Employment

It was suggested by Chloe Smith MP that members of other APPG’s with an interest in youth employment be invited to join the APPG for Youth Employment.  YEUK is to make contact with the relevant Secretariats.

  1. Meeting Closed

Press Release – Launch Of APPG

For immediate release

Chloe Smith, Member of Parliament for Norwich North, has established the new All-Party Parliament Group for Youth Employment and has been appointed Chairperson for the group.

The Group’s Inaugural Meeting was held in June, and has been joined by MPs and Peers from across the main political parties.

Chloe is an active campaigner for youth employment, leading the successful Norwich for Jobs scheme, and is passionate about championing young people in employment.

Youth Employment UK CIC a not-for-profit membership organisation has been confirmed as the Secretariat for the APPG. Youth Employment UK CIC will manage the APPG website – http://www.appgyouthemployment.org and support the elected officers in running and managing the

Chloe Smith MP commented:

“I am delighted to chair the APPG for Youth Employment. The economy is improving but youth employment remains a crucial issue for Britain. Having contributed to significant results in my own constituency, I want to enable Parliamentarians to share evidence of what works and take action alongside businesses and young people to help a generation.”

Speaking after the meeting, Laura-Jane Rawlings of YEUK said:

“Youth unemployment and underemployment is still a major issue in the UK, Youth Employment UK CIC works with a range of members and stakeholders to better understand the barriers to employment and to find ways to overcome these barriers.

“Our largest membership group is 16-24 year olds and we work hard to promote their voices at a national level. Sharing best practice and networking for our members is key to our work and we are delighted that we will be able to use our expertise and experience to support the APPG for Youth Employment.”

The APPG for Youth Employment will hold its next meeting on the 20th of July where members of both Houses from all parties are invited to attend.


For more information on the APPG for Youth Employment please visit the website – http://www.appgyouthemployment.org or contact Laura-Jane Rawlings at Youth Employment UK CIC via ljr@yeuk.org.uk or call 0844 4143101

Inaugural Meeting 9th June 2015

Chloe Smith MP called on Members of Parliament to attend an inaugural meeting for the reestablishment of the All Party Parliament Group for Youth Unemployment.

Agenda Items

1. Chloe Smith MP stood as the Chair of the APPG and this was approved
2. Chloe Smith invited colleagues to stand as officers of the APPG and was also authorised to follow up the confirmation of officers outside the meeting with members across major parties in Parliament.
3. Chloe Smith MP proposed to change the name of the APPG for Youth Unemployment, and asked that it now be the APPG for Youth Employment. This motion was passed.
4. Chloe Smith MP proposed that Youth Employment UK CIC be appointed as the Secretariat for the APPG, this motion was approved.
5. Chloe Smith MP proposed some key areas for the APPG to build into its programme; these were as follows:

1. Statistical baselines and trends
2. Government policy
3. Local and regional innovation
4. International comparisons
5. Organisations to work with
6. Including businesses and young people in the work of the APPG

Members and the Secretariat have suggested that the following areas be brought into the programme:

1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment
2. Range of factors influencing employment
3. Vocational/academic balance
4. Work experience programmes
5. Careers Enterprise Co
6. ESA vs JSA
7. New models of employment
8. Preparing for work

6. Meeting Closed