Where do you operate?

Youth Futures Foundation is focused on reducing youth unemployment in England. The £90m of dormant assets money that was awarded to us by Government is restricted to England and a separate allocation of dormant assets money focused on youth services has been allocated to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

What do you mean by “youth”?

Our initial work is aimed at 14-24 year olds who are furthest from the labour market.

In the future, we may explore preventative projects involving children between 11- 14 years old, but we have no immediate plans to work with this age group.

Why focus on youth unemployment?

Nearly 302,000 young people in the UK are currently unemployed and a further 461,000 are not in any education or training, but not looking for work. Experiencing periods out of the labour market at the start of your adult life harms your future career trajectory. Impetus report that long periods spent NEET can have a negative impact on a young person’s mental and physical health and can have a significant impact on future earnings – to the tune of £225,000 over a lifetime. Even in times of low unemployment, young people – particularly those with low qualifications and social disadvantages – are most likely to be vulnerable to unemployment.

Despite this, there is less available evidence on how to support unemployed young people into work than there is older people. This is something we’re hoping to change.

Why focus on ethnic disparities?

The government’s Race Disparity Audit data shows large disparities at a national level in NEET rates between different ethnic groups, despite having similar qualifications. The data also shows that the unemployment rate for young people from a BAME background is stubbornly nearly double the average.

Youth Futures Foundation is committed to working towards decreasing this BAME youth employment gap.

What is Youth Futures Foundation connection to the government?

Youth Futures Foundation is an independent UK company established in response to the government’s commitment to allocate £90m of dormant asset funding to youth opportunities. YFF has purposefully been created as an independent organisation, with its own board and the ability and remit to set its own strategy.

How was Youth Futures Foundation created?

In January 2018, the Government announced that £90 million from dormant bank and building society accounts would fund projects to support young people furthest from the labour market into employment. Youth Futures Foundation was established in response to this.

You can read more in the statement of intent published in March 2018.


Government’s Civil Society Strategy published in summer 2018, (p43, “helping the most disadvantaged young people”) announced that, following a consultation exercise to determine the best way to deploy the funding, a new organisation would be created, independent from government.


What are dormant assets?

In the UK, dormant asset are defined as money from bank accounts where the customer has not touched the account for 15 years or more and where banks have been unable to contact those customers.

The Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act (2008) enables banks and building societies to voluntarily transfer money held in dormant accounts to the Reclaim Fund Ltd (RFL). Any spending of dormant assets funding needs to have a well-defined social purpose.

In addition, in England, expenditure must be directed to either youth, financial inclusion or social investment. So far over £1.2bn have been transferred to RFL, with over £600m passed on the Big Lottery Fund to distribute to good causes across the UK.

Does Youth Futures Foundation award grants to charities?

In March 2020 we launched our first rolling grants programme, designed to find, fund, support and evaluate promising practice. Funding will go to organisations working with young people aged 14-24 to help overcome barriers to finding meaningful work. We are looking for approaches that can be tested, evaluated and, where proven to be effective, expanded to more young people.

We want to partner with organisations that share our values and are committed to learning, investing in good practice and sharing what works to transform the youth employment landscape.



What are the sources for the statistics on your homepage?
The statistics on our homepage are taken from a variety of reliable reports and studies as follows:



Youth Futures Foundation is starting to build a panel of evaluators with the relevant skills and experience to conduct high quality evaluations of youth employment initiatives funded through our Impact grants. This is an opportunity to play a founding role in this collaborative endeavour to generate robust findings that can be used to improve outcomes for disadvantaged young people.
We are beginning the Expression of Interest stage now, as we expect to require evaluators to start working with projects in summer 2020. However, at this stage we will only select a small number of teams, given that some of our funding activities are likely to be delayed by the Covid 19 pandemic. We anticipate there will be further opportunities to join the panel in the future.


Youth Futures welcome the latest UK data on youth employment released by ONS today, which show a continued rise in the number of young people who are in education, training or work. 


‘A few weeks into my new job and I am working with our committed team to refine our strategy and pave the way for the Youth Futures grants programme to open in the first quarter of 2020.’ New CEO, Anna Smee, outlines way forward for Youth Futures Foundation.