From education to employment

£350k boost to tackle ethnic disparities in youth employment

£350k boost to tackle ethnic disparities in youth employment

Youth Futures Foundation has announced its latest round of grant funding to boost youth employment support for young people from marginalised backgrounds. The Traveller Movement and YMCA George Williams College will benefit from the £1.73million Infrastructure Fund.

This latest announcement brings the total Youth Futures grant funding and evaluation commitments to £23.5million, to support nearly 18,000 young people across England.

This vital financial commitment comes at a critical time; with the cost-of-living crisis hitting vulnerable young people hard, and those from ethnic backgrounds facing even greater disparity. Research published by The Traveller Movement reveals the extent to which systemic racism in the classroom, the youth sector, and the workplace significantly hinders economic inclusion for young Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people.

This funding boost will also support key research and analysis activity within the youth employment space. YMCA George Williams College plans to use its Infrastructure funding to review existing data collection practice and offer insight into how this can be developed.

Matthew Poole, Director of Grants & Investment at Youth Futures Foundation, commented:

“With the rising cost-of living hitting crisis point and heightening the systemic inequalities faced by young people from marginalised backgrounds, it is vital we act now to protect young people’s education and employment prospects. We are delighted to be able to boost provision into tackling these disparities by awarding a share of our dormant assets funded Infrastructure Grant to The Traveller Movement and YMCA George Williams College. We are looking forward to embarking on this positive collaboration and to understanding more about What Works in the youth employment sphere.”

Yvonne MacNamara, CEO, Traveller Movement, said:

“Our Reaching Out project will mainstream Gypsy, Roma and Traveller youth work provision by, for the very first time, bringing together public and private youth sectors, employers, and the Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller charitable sector to build pathways to employment for young people. This is important work; young people from all sorts of backgrounds are being disadvantaged by a lack of access to opportunities and an increasingly precarious and casualised labour market, but the situation is even more stark for young Gypsies, Roma and Travellers who are amongst the most marginalised and discriminated against groups in society. We’re very grateful for Youth Futures Foundations’ support for this initiative, which will help us to deliver on the recommendations from our peer-led research project.”

Bethia McNeil, CEO, YMCA George Williams College, said: 

“We want to support and mobilise everyone working with and for young people as they transition to learning, work and independence to place equity at the heart of their practice. Through funding from Youth Futures Foundation, we will be able to gain new collective insight into which groups of young people are being reached by and benefiting from provision, with improved collection, monitoring, and demographic data analysis. 

There is an increasingly diverse cohort of young people across the country, many of whom face deep, ingrained structural inequity in their lives. Youth organisations we work with have shared challenges in understanding who they engage and how, in ways that are meaningful to young people, and in a legal, ethical, and co-created way. This project will work with practitioners and young people themselves to scope current data collection practice, develop new shared approaches and support more equitable outcomes for young people.” 

To find out more information about Youth Futures Foundation, visit:

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