Legacy Report: Youth Employment Convention 2014
"Converting Conversations into Actions", the legacy report from the 2014 Youth Employment Convention, sought to put young people at the heart of next year’s general election.
Converting Conversations into Actions – “No complacency: No more NEETs”
The Legacy Report, comprised of 25 short essays from contributors to the 2014 Youth Employment Convention, all experts in their field, describes why youth unemployment remains a systemic issue despite an improving economy and makes the case for policy changes that will support the skills and employment needs of our most valuable national asset – our young people. It is hoped that the report will influence the manifestos of all the major political parties.
The 2014 Youth Employment Convention sought to tackle a variety of issues, including:
- whether we are any closer to the social mobility we seek
- whether policy makers and employers really do have the ambition to address the challenges of youth unemployment and the skills deficit
- what a shared responsibility to tackle both looks like and whether it’s achievable.
The voice of young people was central to the convention – opening it with a Youth Debate, closing it with a Call to Action and contributing throughout the event.
Contributors to the report include:
Lord Baker of Dorking, who argues that the “skills mismatch” is holding back economic growth and makes a direct correlation between the UK’s “weak commitment to technical pathways” and our high NEET rates.
Dame Tessa Jowell MP, who calls the 25% youth unemployment rate in the capital, a “scar on London”, and argues for a “Skills Guarantee” ensuring that no young person leaves school without the necessary skills to secure, progress and succeed in work.
Stewart Segal of AELP appeals to government to integrate BIS- and DWP-supported programmes so that a clearer and more effective offer can be made to young people.
Mark Fisher of DWP reminds us that, even as youth employment rises, it is the most disadvantaged young people who will be left behind unless strong and effective partnerships are made that can affect their life chances.
Perhaps the most important contributions, though, are those of the youth delegates - young people who are experiencing the education, skills and employment system right now. Francis Augusto, Youth Ambassador from Talent Match London, says that “politicians and decision makers should take responsibility for failing a great proportion of young people.”
More must certainly be done and, building on the dynamic conversation over 2 days at the convention involving young people, employers, support services providers, commissioners, policy makers and stakeholders, this Legacy Report draws together the best of the thinking that came out of the event.
Roy O Shaughnessy, CEO of Shaw Trust, the report sponsor says:
“Crucially, this year’s convention emphasised that while many important steps have been taken to help vulnerable young people into work, even greater strides could be made to ensure they are guided in the right direction and get a permanent foothold on the employment ladder. This Legacy Report will ensure that we keep to our word on the actions, pledges and proposals that we have agreed as a sector, as organisations and as individuals. We cannot afford to make limited progress. Now is the time to push on. Our young people and our country are counting on it.”
Fran Parry, Youth Employment Convention Content Director and editor of Converting Conversations into Actions says:
“Not only is it socially, economically, and civilly totally desirable that every possible young, and older, person should be employed, but with an ageing population the country needs young people as wage-earners, for their taxes and their spending power, but also so that they should have the economic confidence to bring up the next generation. As one of our youth delegates reminds us in the report, ‘the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow’. Indeed they are, and we owe them the skills and employment pathways they need and deserve for this task."
Stewart Segal, CEO of AELP, partner in the Youth Employment Convention, says:
“The Youth Employment Convention provided a good opportunity to look at policy and programme delivery from the point of view of young people finding their pathways into work. They articulated well the problems they encounter in a job market that remains very difficult for young people. AELP is delighted that out of the Convention has emerged the Legacy Report, "Converting Conversations into Actions". With an election now on the near horizon, we hope all parties will heed the thought leadership that the convention and its Legacy Report gathered together and put young people and their needs at the centre of employment and skills policy in an integrated manner."
About the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion
Inclusion is the UK’s leading not-for-profit company dedicated to tackling disadvantage and promoting social inclusion in the labour market. This is the second year the centre has collaborated with AELP to deliver the Youth Employment Convention.
About the Association of Employment and Learning Providers
The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) is the trade association for vocational learning and employment providers in Britain. The majority of its 660+ members are independent, private, not-for-profit and voluntary sector training and employment services organisations. Membership is open to any provider committed to quality provision involved in skills training and employment. AELP Members deliver approximately 75% of the 850,000 apprenticeships in England.
About Shaw Trust
Shaw Trust is a national employment, learning and skills charity that helps people facing disadvantage into work, gain skills and take control of their futures. The charity believes in a society that provides everyone the opportunity for work, inclusion and independence and is the largest third sector contractor for Department for Work and Pensions delivering both mainstream (Work Programme) and specialist (Work Choice) employment support schemes across Britain. As well as a range of apprenticeship and skills contracts, they are also now an approved academy sponsor, having formed Shaw Education Trust: a multi-academy trust that supports special schools and mainstream schools serving disadvantaged communities.