The purpose of this research was to examine how the social security systems could be transformed to better enable young people to find employment and fulfil their potential.
High levels of youth unemployment are not a new problem in the UK. While the global recession saw a significant jump in the number of young people facing unemployment, in reality, the upward trend started long before the financial crisis, as far back as 2004.
Given that numerous governments have tried a range of schemes to battle this problem with only mixed success, this research sought to give young people a voice in shaping any new approach offered, including the introduction of a Youth Obligation, a back-to-work scheme announced by the Government in as part of the Summer Budget 2015.
Through a series of focus groups, young people from YMCA identified six areas they believed job centres could improve to increase their prospects of finding employment:
- Understanding young people’s circumstances
- Listening to young people’s aspirations
- Supporting young people to look for work
- Getting young people the right skills and qualifications
- Securing young people with meaningful work experience
- Retaining support for young people transitioning into employment.