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University hosts international youth employment event

09 Jul 2015

Reaching out to disenfranchised young people

The Works

The University hosted an international workshop to discuss the difficulties that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds face in moving from school to work and how employers can help solve the problem as youth worklessness rises internationally.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD ) event saw delegates from as far afield as Canada, Sweden, Pakistan, Denmark, Australia  and Ghana discuss with officials from the European Commission how young people in the UK are often “lost in the cracks” of school-to-work transitions.

This is because they do not always fall directly within the mandate of agencies such as secondary education providers or public employment services and often, no agency takes responsibility for following up with early school leavers who remain inactive. The delegates discussed tightening up partnerships between the various stakeholders, for example through youth guarantee schemes, to fill these gaps.

There are promising practices in places such as Denmark, where municipal Youth Guidance Centres are responsible for providing guidance services for young people up to age 25. In the UK Talent Match, a £108 million national project brings employers and other stakeholders together to help shape skills interventions which meet the diverse needs of young people who have been unemployed for 12 months or more and who may not have had adequate support from the welfare and skills infrastructure.

Steve Grant, Assistant Director of Human Resources, who hosted and spoke at the event, said: “That we were asked to host this event is recognition of our work with communities and strategic partners to support individuals into work and thus help drive economic activity.

“I was able to describe how, as a major employer in the region, we have developed a range of interventions aimed at bridging the skills gap whilst also influencing long term change in the skills infrastructure. It was really pleasing to find our programmes and the work we do with initiatives such as Talent Match in the international spotlight.”