Government departments have been increasingly looking to the business community to step in to support and solve some of the challenges that exist around skills, careers and youth employment. Is too much pressure being placed on employers?
Download the APPG for Youth Employment report: ‘Employer Support for Youth Employment‘ launched on 29th April 2019.
Major apprenticeship and technical education reform has put employers in the driving seat of qualification design and investment, and there are also calls on business to support careers education, digital skills and social mobility initiatives across a range of government departments.
Today the APPG for Youth Employment will be presenting their report into employer support for youth employment to the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, The Rt Anne Milton MP. Through the course of the inquiry, the APPG has listened to and received written evidence from a number of employers, business organisations including the CBI and young people.
Employers have made it clear that they want to support the youth employment agenda and government policy in this area.
Employers are actively keen to support the youth employment agenda because many have to consider their own skill and workforce development needs, as well as the challenges of an ageing workforce and the impact of current political uncertainty on recruitment and staffing. In addition, many businesses also accept that they have a social responsibility to their communities to develop an inclusive and diverse workforce. However it is clear that the significant amount of change in the education and skills landscape in recent years, as well as the considerable number of reforms currently in progress is putting real pressure on business. In almost all cases these policy areas are currently working in isolation, not just across government but within government departments, leaving stark gaps in provision. As a result there is a growing burden on large employers while the needs of SMEs are often being ignored.
APPG for Youth Employment recommendations
- The APPG for Youth Employment is recommending that a cross government taskforce is created to develop a joined-up, long-term strategy for youth services and employment.
- We are asking for apprenticeship and skills training reform to prevent the further decrease in 16-18 year old starts and Level 2 and 3 starts.
- Finally we are recommending that SMEs are better supported to deliver against the government’s youth employment strategy.
Laura-Jane Rawlings, CEO of Youth Employment UK says:
“This is an important inquiry that has brought together the views and experiences of all stakeholders working in the youth employment space, including young people. Government is working hard to reform our skills and education systems, but this should not be at the cost of social mobility. Government needs to hear and respond to the concerns raised in this report, it needs to ensure that whilst policy reforming is embedding that young people are not left behind and that we do not risk employer support for youth employment.”