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February 28, 2019

Joe Montgomery announced as Founding Chair of Youth Futures Foundation

A new, independent, not-for-profit organisation, the Youth Futures Foundation has today announced Joe Montgomery as its Founding Chair. The Youth Futures Foundation exists to support those young people furthest from the labour market into meaningful employment, helping them to reach their full potential. It will work to remove the barriers preventing such young people entering the labour market, including addressing the ethnic disparities in levels of youth employment revealed in Government’s Race Disparity Audit.

As Chair, Joe will lead a non-executive board responsible for setting the strategy and governing its social purpose. It will work with the public, private and voluntary sectors to support effective approaches and develop evidence about how best to tackle youth unemployment. The initial priority is to develop sufficient governance and operational readiness to take on the £90m of funding from dormant assets later in the year. Distribution of funds will start towards the end of 2019.

Joe brings extensive experience from the public and community sectors, with a focus on ensuring services benefit the most disadvantaged.

Commenting on his appointment, Joe said:

“Young people should not be missing out on the benefits of meaningful work due to barriers that we have the power to overcome. I am excited about establishing a new organisation focused on bringing together employers, youth services and funders to address the needs of young people furthest from the employment market.

The £90m dormant assets funding offers an opportunity to deliver real impact for young people and the creation of the Youth Futures Foundation as an independent organisation allows us to develop new ways of delivering lasting change. Over the coming months, we will establish the strong governance and leadership needed to ensure we can use the dormant assets funding as effectively as possible. We are grateful for the support of the National Lottery Community Fund, Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, and the youth sector so far, and look forward to working in partnership for the benefit of young people across England.”

Mims Davies, Minister for Sport and Civil Society said:

“We want all our young people to reach their full potential and pursue their ambitions and talents whatever their background. The work of the Youth Futures Foundation will be vital in helping to further tackle youth unemployment and break down any barriers preventing young people from entering the world of work. I am delighted to support the creation of this organisation, using funds from dormant assets, as another innovative example of how we are helping to deliver real improvements for the most vulnerable in our society.”

Dawn Austwick, CEO of the National Lottery Community Fund said:

“We are delighted that last year’s preparatory work with young people and grassroots youth organisations across England has informed the intentions of the Youth Futures Foundation. The stories and ideas of young people facing multiple barriers to employment and training have highlighted not only the scale of the challenge they face but also the potential for impact where services and funders work together innovatively. We look forward to working with Joe Montgomery and his team as they build on this work using dormant assets funding.”

Simon Woolley, Chair of Race Disparity Advisory Group commented:

“For too long young people from different ethnic and social backgrounds who also live in disadvantaged areas have faced many barriers to education, employment and training. Without removing these they will never be able to achieve their true potential and, as a consequence, are more likely to end up unemployed. The Youth Futures Foundation has the opportunity to be a real game-changer to address these disparities across the country. The Advisory Group and I look forward to supporting Joe Montgomery and his team in achieving this ambitious objective.”

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Youth Futures Foundation is delighted to announce that Anna Smee has been appointed as its first CEO. Anna will join in November.

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Last month we carried out our interviews for the exciting and important role of CEO of YFF. As part of this process, we held a day of youth panel assessments for shortlisted candidates to set out their vision for YFF to a group of five young people.

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From St James’ Park to Middlesbrough Council. Last week we had the pleasure of visiting Newcastle and Middlesbrough, speaking to young people, organisations and services who are working hard to support young people into employment.