Today (19 November 2020) data released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that 757,000 16-24 years olds are not in education, training or employment.
The Youth Futures Foundation and BBC Children in Need have anticipated and responded to the youth employment crisis by distributing £7 million in resilience funding to youth and community organisations supporting children and young people on their journey towards employment.
The Inspiring Futures fund was established in response to the pandemic which has disproportionately impacted on job prospects for young people, currently almost four times more likely to be unemployed than older adults in the job market.
The fund focuses particularly on disadvantaged young people who are twice as likely to be shut out of education, training or employment as their better-off peers. Grants have been awarded to over 100 not-for-profit organisations across the UK seeking to address this issue.
Grants will support a range of activities across the UK, including: the Beap Community Partnership which will use a grant of £79,860 to deliver sports and employability activities for young people from Bangladeshi communities in Bradford. In Nottingham, Transform Training with a grant of £54,594 will provide training and workshops for children and young people with additional needs who have been isolated at home due to COVID–19, and in Brighton, Friends, Families and Travellers will provide employability support activities for Gypsy and Traveller young people whose personal development prospects have been impacted by COVID-19 with a grant of £78,035. Elsewhere, Derbyshire Autism Services Group has been awarded £49,552 to provide mentoring support for young people who are autistic, providing tailored developmental activities that will raise aspirations, improve life skills and employability. In Scotland, CrossReach has been awarded £79,247 to support care experienced young people in Renfrewshire, whose education has been interrupted by Covid-19, by developing bespoke future pathways into employment which will help to improve core skills, develop confidence and gain employment.
CEO of Youth Futures Foundation, Anna Smee, commented:
“The impact of COVID-19 on youth unemployment has already been profound. Those under 25 are being hardest hit by job losses, with unemployment rising faster and higher than under three previous recessions. This will have a scarring effect that will leave a generation of young people worse off over the course of their careers. We are proud to work in partnership with BBC Children in Need to ensure future generations have access to fulfilling work, no matter what their background, as a result of our ability to inform stakeholders on what works, invest in good practice, and ignite widespread systems change.”
Simon Antrobus, CEO of BBC Children in Need, said:
“We want to ensure that all children and young people are able to thrive at every stage of their lives and have the chance to achieve their full potential. This includes addressing the additional impact COVID-19 will have on their future prospects and employability. We are proud to partner with the Youth Futures Foundation to award these grants, which will help to transform young lives, unlock their potential and address the root causes of youth unemployment.’
A full list of the grants which have been awarded can be viewed here