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Youth Employment Group launch latest paper – Levelling up for young people: Building an Opportunity Guarantee

Laura Jane Rawling
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The Youth Employment Group (@YEUK2012) have launched their latest set of recommendations for Government in response to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and the impact this has had on young people’s employment, education and training opportunities. 

During the course of the last 15 months the Youth Employment Group has produced a number of papers and recommendations on youth employment policy areas. The Group meets frequently with Ministers, Civil Service Colleagues and its network of 250 Members to discuss the impact of Covid on youth unemployment and what more can be done to support young people.

Young People’s Needs: The Opportunity Guarantee

In the summer of 2020 the Prime Minister announced his commitment to an Opportunity Guarantee, swiftly followed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Plan for Jobs which included investment for existing youth employment services and new ones such as Kickstart and Youth Hubs.

A year on and the Youth Employment Group has produced a new paper on what the government should be doing to level up for young people, taking the Plan for Jobs in the current labour market and conditions and setting out a 3 stage plan for future youth employment policy.

Levelling Up: 3 Stage Plan

  • Stage 1 – A September Guarantee
  • Stage 2 – Investing for the future
  • Stage 3 – Delivering for young people

Laura-Jane Rawlings, CEO of Youth Employment UK and Co-Chair of the Youth Employment Group said

“this paper is going to be an important part of our collective work to support young people and their need for quality education, employment and training oppportunities. Whilst the economy begins to recover the employment data will mask what is really happening to young people. We know that young people are currently 3 times more likely to be unemployed than any other group and that long-term youth unemployment has significantly risen. The scarring impact of Covid on young people’s employment prospects is being keenly felt. At Youth Employment UK we are hearing that young people really are fearing for their future and doubt that they will be able to find a good quality job where they live. This paper is critical as it explores the immediate need but also takes a long term view on what needs to happen to create a truly joined-up and effective approach to youth employment. We are delighted by the positive response from government and stakeholders and will continue to work closely with them as we champion the needs of young people, particulalry those most disadvanaged.”

Launching the paper with the APPG for Youth Employment

On Tuesday 20th of July, the APPG for Youth Employment held a joint meeting with the Youth Employment Group to share and discuss the paper. 

The meeting began with a presentation from Anna Smee, CEO of Youth Futures Foundation and a co-chair of the Youth Employment Group. Followed by a panel discussion which included APPG Chair James Daly MP, David Gallagher CEO of NCFE and Anna Smee. The session was chaired by Youth Employment UK Youth Ambassador Amran.

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During the discussion Amran asked the panellist what levelling up meant for them and what should be the focus of the governments agenda in the next 6 and 12 month period.  Amran also asked what levelling up would mean at a local level and where the differences would be seen regionally and at macro levels.

After the panel discussion delegates were moved into rooms to discuss key aspects of the Levelling up paper, rooms were chaired by the Youth Employment Group exec team and brought back together to discuss key findings.

You Can Download The Minutes And The Link To The Meeting Session Here. Minutes 20_07_2021

What next?

Whilst politicians head into recess it is the job of the Youth Employment Group and its membership to really bring the calls and recommendations of this paper together. The Group will be meeting with senior government officials and looking at the papers recommendations and what they mean for the Spending Review.

Upon the return of MPs the APPG for Youth Employment will be setting out its asks and the 2021/22 agenda for the APPG.

You can get involved in this work by sharing your support for the paper by using any of the social media cards, joining the Youth Employment Group and subscribing to the APPG by emailing [email protected]/

Youth Employment UK is delighted to have been able to bring the work of the APPG and the Youth Employment Group together.

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