about us

About Youth Employment UK

We are the leading youth organisation dedicated to tackling youth unemployment in the UK. We bring together young people, employers and policy in an innovative way that creates real impact.

Meet the team
Meet our Youth Ambassadors
About youth unemployment

We believe...

Youth Employment UK is a not-for-profit that was set up in 2012 to tackle youth unemployment. Understanding the complex landscape and needs of both young people and employers Youth Employment UK has become a leading expert on youth employment and unemployment in the UK.

Young people need a voice in the decisions being made which impact them, while developing their personal and work skills. Youth Employment UK not only puts young people at the heart of what we do, we have also lead the way to bringing young people’s voices and experience to the forefront of policy and service design.

Youth Employment UK provides support and guidance to a range of government departments, employers, youth organisations and works in collaboration with a number of key partners.

Our key objectives

  • To give young people a voice and empower them to be more prepared for the world of work
  • To help organisations be better equipped to support young people and adopt Youth Friendly Principles
  • To ensure that government policy is geared towards the real needs of young people

What we do

Since our launch in 2012 we have worked as a non-profit organisation to:

  • Offer a platform for young people to have a voice on youth employment issues that affect them.
  • Empower young people to take control of their personal and professional development, and gain the skills employers want.
  • Support organisations working in the youth employment space by providing an impartial platform for them to communicate, share best practice and network.
  • Campaign and influence policy on employment issues and barriers facing young people.

How we support young people

Mentoring. Networking. Campaigning. Giving young people tools to develop their skills and apply them to real life.

We have facilitated a huge and energetic UK community of young people creating positive change in the world of work. Youth Employment links young people with employers, decision-makers and the world of work in a way that makes a real difference.

We have a nationwide reach of 14-24 year olds who:

  • Represent youth voice at policy meetings, conferences and community events in a volunteer capacity as Youth Ambassadors
  • Develop employment skills and an understanding of work culture to take ownership of their future as Young Professionals
  • Represent employers and get support in the workplace as part of the Corporate Ambassador Programme
  • Work on projects that are of real interest to them, developing their employability as well as a network of business contacts.

See what our Youth Ambassadors say…

“I think it is important to raise awareness about unemployment and the effect it has on young people.”

Georgie Grace Grainger

“My desire is to aid the development of strategies that provide adequate pathways for the next generation of British and global youth.”

Kenechi Eziefula

“I want to prove to employers that young people can be as hardworking and reliable as people 10 years older.”

Francesca Daly

Our history

Youth Employment UK was launched in 2012 to help young people and support all those working in the youth employment space.

We know what young people need, and what they can offer employers.

Our community of young people helps to shape our work and place us in a position where we can really bridge the gap between young people and employment opportunities. Young people talk to us every day, offering inside perspectives. They tell us, from personal experience, the issues and barriers they are facing.

We offer tangible support to EVERYONE in the youth employment space.

We offer real support to young people. Very importantly, we also support all employers, organisations and policy makers who are keen to make a difference.

Our network reach of supporters and influencers is both wide and varied. We value the importance of a unified, collaborative approach to overcoming youth employment challenges.

Are you an employer, organisation or decision-maker? As an independent and impartial organisation, we actively support your efforts to work in the most youth friendly way.

We understand youth employment. In fact, we have a proven track record of expertise.

We are regularly invited to contribute time, information and research to help inform and shape policy. We work closely with the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Education and the Department for Business. We also have working links to the Cabinet Office and the Skills Funding Agency. Our CEO additionally sits on a number of expert panels which include two national sub-committees for the European Social Fund.

Our expertise is independent and impartial. Youth Employment UK is the Secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Employment which meets monthly to discuss the issues of youth employment. Our Community and Young Members are all invited to attend these meetings.

Our strategy

Our main purpose is to reduce youth unemployment and support every young person to progress. We work in line with the Youth Employment UK Theory of Change. Our Theory of Change centres around three key objectives, outlined below with our propositions to achieve these goals in the long term:

Young people are more prepared for the world of work.

  • Young Professional Initiative
  • Offering and sharing opportunities
  • Information sharing
  • Youth Ambassador network

Employers are better equipped to support young people and adopt the Youth Friendly Charter. Our goal is to help bring about an increase in youth friendly support and opportunities for young people.

  • Networking
  • Information sharing
  • Policy guidance
  • Youth Friendly Employment Framework

Government policy is geared towards the real needs of young people

  • Youth Employment UK is the APPG Secretariat
  • Surveys
  • Whitepapers
  • Relationships with Government departments and MPs

Our success stories

Here at Youth Employment UK we’re proud of our continuing achievements, and honoured to be in a position to support so many young people as well as helping hundreds of employers become more youth friendly. Because of their involvement with Youth Employment UK, young people have gained the confidence to share their voice and attend meetings that shape policy.

Some examples where we’ve made a difference:

Our successes aren’t limited to reviews, reports, national surveys, free development programmes and campaigns. We create CV-boosting opportunities for our Youth Ambassadors and Young Professionals on a near-daily basis.

Here are a few opportunities we’re glad to have helped make a reality:

… and we have so many more examples to share. In May 2017 we provided support to help young leaders attend a Franco-British Council networking day. It never stops!

Would you like to help us maintain our sustainability as a non-profit organisation? Find out how you can support us.

Youth Friendly Employer Award

Are you committed to attracting and developing a diverse future workforce? Apply now for the Youth Friendly Employer Award:

  • A quality kitemark for employers
  • A powerful recruitment & development tool
  • Attract candidates for apprenticeships & early careers

Be recognised as a high quality youth employer and reach a motivated and diverse future talent pool.


Contact and Press enquiries

General and business queries
We love to hear from people interested in youth unemployment issues and the work of Youth Employment UK. Please visit our contact page to get in touch.

Our spotlight on youth unemployment details our perspective on the UK’s employment landscape today.

Our CEO and founder Laura-Jane Rawlings is available for interview and can offer expert opinion on the topic of youth unemployment. Please get in touch via the contact page and we look forward to hearing from you.

Meet our team

For Teachers

Discover our range of free teaching resources to help you embed careers learning for students.

Free teaching resources
For Organisations

Apply for the Youth Friendly Employer Award to build a diverse and motivated future talent pool.

Find out more