Watch the webinar
- Deborah Fraser, Director - Regions, CBI (Chair)
- Alice Grimes, Senior Policy Adviser, Education and Skills, CBI
- Katie Farrington, Director for Universal Credit and Employment Policy, DWP
- James Uffindell, Founder and CEO, Bright Network
- Anna Frazer, Head of Employer Engagement, Careers and Enterprise Company
- Josh Adcock, Apprentice Policy and Research Coordinator, Youth Employment UK.
- When lockdown began, many CBI members were uncertain about the future. One of the main pieces of feedback we received was about the impact on young people – who are most likely to work in those sectors hardest hit
- We set up a Youth Employability Taskforce, which has grown exponentially among our members
- The Kickstart Scheme will also help tackle youth unemployment. The scheme officially launched on 2 September, and we’ve been doing work on business engagement with schools, as well as championing the need for good quality careers advice.
- The CBI has been an important partner as we designed and launched the Kickstart Scheme. And we want to maintain an ongoing dialogue to identify/remedy problems
- The scheme is a £2bn fund to tackle the disproportionate effect of the lockdown on the employment prospects of young people. We’re funding 26-week-long work experience placements, as well as providing a sum for the employer to help with training. We want employers of all sectors and sizes to be part of it
- If you have 30 placements you can bid as an organisation, but if you don’t have 30, you can group together with other firms. DWP is keen to make the scheme work, and we want to hear feedback so we know where to improve.
- To build the workforce of the future we need to identify the future skills need
- In the last three recessions, unemployment among young people was up around 3-4%, and then within a year, employment opportunities for them were around 7% lower. This is a disproportionate impact when compared to other groups
- 63% of our members saw a change in applications. We also saw a collapse in their confidence index of graduates. In January, 57% were confident of getting a job, but this was down to 33% by the end of March. 90% of young people find it difficult to communicate or connect with their employers
- Applicants from diverse backgrounds are most affected
- What can be done?
- We had 120,000 applications for our three-day course, and we delivered a million hours of online learning
- Educate young people around the world of work and try to shift perceptions. Communicate what is expected
- 21% of students feel a lack of contacts is what is holding them back – reach out and help!
- Offer work experience/paid internships – 22% of students feel a lack of experience holds them back
- Give students optimism!
- The Careers and Enterprise Company connects businesses with schools and colleges across England. We’re fully funded by DfE and work with LEPs around the country to deploy enterprise coordinators on the ground
- We’re increasingly data driven – for example we use a self-assessment tool for schools, which helps to identify skills gaps, and where further work is needed
- The CBI has worked closely with the CEC since inception, on key issues such as business engagement with schools. We’re also jointly launching an online tool called Step up for Schools – an employer platform which maps and profiles business/school engagement in the regions of the UK and shows employers how they can get involved in their area
- From a virtual point of view, employers have pivoted brilliantly. Many have switched work experience to a virtual experience which encourages team working etc. And the feedback from pupils has been encouraging.
- Youth Employment UK is a not-for-profit founded to tackle youth unemployment. We aim to give young people a voice/platform and careers support, and we support employers to develop and be ‘youth friendly’
- Some of the things we’re hearing from young people are:
- Mental health, wellbeing and confidence have all have risen as concerns in the last year
- Happiness scores are higher for those in work
- 33% of respondents struggled with wellbeing at work – up 12% on last year
- Young people feel they will face additional barriers
- They also talk about having a confusing landscape and being unsure about their future employability
- Only 31% felt employers were very supportive of hiring young people
- 45% said they lacked work experience, and many said more needs to be done to make work experience available beyond secondary school, as the options provided to them were poor.