15.00, 12 March 2020, The Catalyst, 3 Science Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
The youth unemployment (16-24) rate in the North East is one of the highest in the UK, at 16.8% compared with 11.3% nationally*. Movement to Work (MtW), an organisation established by some of the UK’s biggest employers to tackle youth unemployment through high-quality work experience and other work opportunities, is launching its local youth employment programme in the North-East, working with leading organisations in the region, initially including Sage and the Government’s Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP).
In the six years since it was founded, MtW has provided over 90,000 placements and job opportunities nationally for young people who were previously not in education, employment and training (NEET). Over 55% of those completing placement schemes found employment or went back into education.
In 2019 MtW launched a new strategy of bringing together local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), youth-outreach organisations, Government, charities and employers in areas where youth unemployment is particularly high, ‘cold spots’. It launched a regional pilot in May 2019 in the West Midlands and to date has delivered around 900 placements there.
Employers will benefit from boosted morale amongst existing employees, who enjoy mentoring these young people. They are also able to pass on and build new skills to address skills shortages. Spending on recruitment, training and temporary staff costs to cover missing skills, according to the open University’s Business Barometer report 2019, is around £16,700 per organisation nationally but it is £19,600 per annum in the North East.
This local-first strategy also forms part of the Government’s Inclusive Economy Partnership. The programme will significantly increase the number of opportunities to young people across the North East and will actively support those groups who have traditionally faced more barriers in getting into the labour market in geographies that have larger numbers of young people who are NEET.
Sam Olsen, chief executive of Movement to Work, said: “Our priority is finding opportunities for meaningful careers for young people who haven’t had many employment chances. We want to support young people in areas where we can help the most: youth unemployment cold spots. And we want to help employers address skills shortages by ensuring that young people don’t remain unemployed whilst employers could be teaching the skills they need so badly. The North East is one of those areas, and we are going to help generate employment and the skills the area so badly needs by giving all young people a chance.”
Debbie Wall, EVP Sage Foundation and Diversity & Inclusion at Sage, said: “We are committed to providing life-changing opportunities that lead to social mobility, and from our Place to Call Home programme to address youth homelessness we know that exposure to work provides a key intervention leading to long-term employability.
“The North East is our spiritual home and global headquarters, and this programme marks an important opportunity to generate employment opportunities for young people that need our help by working with third sector, other businesses and Government. This programme is so important to Sage that we have seconded a colleague to Movement to Work, to lead and deliver the programme in the North East, and we look forward to offering these young people an opportunity to learn more about the world of work.”
Baroness Barran, Minister for Civil Society, said: "This scheme is a fantastic way to help young people develop their skills and talent and I’m delighted it is now expanding to the North East. I hope many local organisations and businesses from across the region will get involved and support our young people to achieve their potential.”
Shevaun Haviland, deputy director, Business Partnerships Team and Government Communications Service Local Team, Cabinet Office, said: "The Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP) brings together business, civil society and government to tackle the UK’s most pressing social and economic problems through cross-sector partnerships. The Cabinet Office and DCMS are working with a range of organisations on new solutions to support the 800,000 young people not in education, employment or training to secure and retain meaningful employment. We know that issues that affect young people can be very region-specific so we are adopting a ‘local first’ strategy and working at a local level with Movement to Work to support young people into work placements. By harnessing the network and reach of the IEP, we can amplify this crucial work and extend the opportunities available to young people in the North East."
On 12 March, at 15.00, MtW will be launching the programme at The Catalyst to local businesses, youth-outreach organisations, charities, local government, business associations, employers and other parties passionate about bringing employment opportunities and skills to the North East.
About Movement to Work
Movement to Work (MtW), is a collaboration of UK employers committed to tackling youth unemployment through the provision of high-quality work experience and other work opportunities.
Over 90,000 diverse and empowering work placements, ranging from hospitality to engineering, have been made possible by employers, charities and Government working together through Movement to Work in the last six years. In 2020 this will reach 100,000. Working with MtW, employers create work placements for unemployed young people between 16-30 years of age, particularly those who have been out of work, education or training for some time, and are usually facing considerable challenges.
MtW increases the link between UK employers and charity partners that support young people who are more likely to be out of work. This includes those who have been long-term unemployed, homeless, suffered from mental health and being young offenders. These charities help to provide a great network of talented young people who will benefit from a work placement. Alongside the societal imperative to help #YoungPeopleWork, there are key business benefits: access to a diverse recruitment pool, securing comparatively more loyal employees, raising existing team morale through mentorship, achieving CSR objectives and positive PR.
Movement to Work’s employer members include many leading UK employers including: Accenture, BAE Systems, Barclays, BT, BUPA, Centrica, the Department for Work and Pensions, Diageo, HSBC, Marks and Spencer, IBM, Marriott International, NHS, Tesco, Unilever and Wates, amongst others.
* HMG NEET statistics annual brief: 2019