About Youth Futures Foundation

We are the national What Works Centre for youth employment, with a specific focus on marginalised young people.

Across the UK,900,000 – 1 in 8 – of our young people are not in education, employment or training (NEET). The situation is especially acute in the North and the Midlands, and for marginalised young people who experience significant systemic barriers.

The exclusion of these young people from the labour market has a significant impact for UK economic growth now and in the future.

The opportunity

If we could match the NEET rate of the Netherlands, where only 1 in 20 young people are not in employment or education, we would not only ensure young people themselves are able to achieve a better future but we could add £69 billion to the UK economy over the long term.


Our vision is a society where all young people have equitable access to good jobs.

Our mission is to narrow the employment gap by identifying what works and why, investing in evidence generation and innovation, and igniting a movement for change.


We are:

  • Bold: We want to disrupt the status quo and transform the youth employment system.
  • Always learning: We are evidence-driven, we innovate and we aren’t afraid to fail.
  • Inclusive: We embrace, celebrate and champion diversity in all its forms. It’s core to who we are.
  • Collaborative: We build partnerships and share power to grow collective impact.
  • Determined: We are relentless in our pursuit of a better future for all young people.


We find and generate high-quality evidence to better understand England’s youth unemployment and inactivity challenge, and most importantly to learn what solutions work to address this.

We put evidence into action with policy makers and employers who have the means to make direct impactful change for young people.

Throughout our work, we proudly involve the voices, perspectives and participation of young people experiencing marginalisation, through our Future Voices Group, our young Board members and beyond.

Our strategic priorities for 2020-24 are:

  1. Changing the youth employment system by working in partnership with organisations, policy makers and young people to address structural and systemic barriers
  2. Creating opportunities with employers to recruit and retain more young people from marginalised backgrounds
  3. Building capacity with practitioners to support and train more young people from marginalised backgrounds to be ready for work.

Explore our annual reports below to see how we have worked towards acheiving these.

We are currently developing our strategy for 2025 and beyond.

Youth Futures Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organisation established in December 2019 to improve employment outcomes for young people from marginalised backgrounds. The foundation launched with an initial endowment of £90m from the Reclaim Fund.

Explore our annual reports below.


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