Youth Futures announced as 10th full What Works Centre

Jun 15, 2022

Today (15th June) Youth Futures Foundation is pleased to announce its accreditation as a full What Works Network member, making it the 10th full What Works Centre in the UK.

This is a significant milestone for Youth Futures, whose mission from the outset has been to narrow the employment gap for young people from marginalised backgrounds. Youth Futures has supported nearly 18,000 young people from marginalised backgrounds to get good jobs and committed £23.5million, from dormant assets funding, to 148 organisations to build the evidence base of what works to inform youth employment policy and practice.

The What Works Network was launched by the UK Government in 2013 to ensure that the best evidence on ‘what works’ is available to those who develop public services. The network hosts a group of independent What Works Centres who assess the existing evidence base in specific policy areas and offer advice on effective practice. It is now being run by the Evaluation Task Force, part of HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office.

Chris Goulden, Director of Impact and Evidence, said:

“We are delighted to be formally approved by the What Works Council and the Evaluation Task Force in the Treasury as the 10th full What Works Centre in the UK. ”

“We had to satisfy the Council that we meet all the standards for being a full What Works Centre – independent, methodological rigorous, practical, accessible, building the capacity of our stakeholders and transparent. This vote of confidence in our approach so far, and the benefits of full membership of the Network, will give a real boost to our mission to identify and share what works best to support disadvantaged young people into a decent job.”

Professor David Halpern, the What Works National Adviser and Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team, said: 

“The What Works Network is committed to generating high-quality evidence that informs decision-making in a wide range of policy areas. As What Works National Adviser, I am delighted to recognise the Youth Futures Foundation as a What Works Centre, along with the commitment to robust methods – to finding out ‘what works’ – that this entails.”

“There are 700,000 young people currently out of education, employment or training in the UK, many of whom would benefit from more equitable access to good-quality jobs. By supporting youth employment programmes, alongside testing new ideas, and scaling successful interventions, Youth Futures will provide employers and government with much-needed evidence that improves outcomes for young people. As such, I am delighted to see Youth Futures take its place alongside other What Works Centres, such as NICE and the EEF, that are working relentlessly to put the best possible evidence into the hands of doctors, teachers, and others to improve the lives of people.”

As a new member, Youth Futures will continue building on the strong momentum it has created since it was established in 2019.