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 16-24 year olds who are furthest from the labour market.

In the future, we may explore preventative projects involving children between 11- 16 years old, but we have no immediate plans to work with this age group.

Why focus on youth unemployment?

Nearly 500,000 young people are currently unemployed and of these 79,000 have been out of work for more than 12 months. Experiencing periods of unemployment 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?

We plan to directly support those already working to tackle the barriers preventing young people from accessing employment, particularly in areas of high youth unemployment.

We are currently developing a strategy to ensure the £90m dormant assets funding is distributed in a way that creates maximum impact for underserved young people.

We are not yet in a position to share details of our first funding programme but we are getting closer. Please sign up to our newsletter (below) for all our latest developments.

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: 



‘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.

Jobs / News

We are recruiting for two additional Directors to join our current Board and both roles are reserved for young people living in England who have direct or indirect experience of facing challenges when trying to get into work. 


The Youth Futures foundation is seeking a strategic partner to deliver end to end grant-making administrative services for our first grant-making round.