Find out more about the business-led initiative established to tackle youth unemployment in the UK.

Our focus at WORKing for YOUth is simple. We want to help the business community create more jobs for young people aged 16 – 24.

Youth unemployment at more than 1 million is at crisis point, but the current economic climate means that businesses are financially challenged when investing in jobs. To address this, Sir John Peace established the WORKing for YOUth movement, which has three key strands:

Job creation

Our aim is to create 200,000 jobs by 2015 suitable for young people aged 16 – 24. Using social media  we have been able to showcase over 10,000 vacancies including entry level roles, apprenticeships and graduate schemes. Collating entry level roles from across 20 industries in one place has been highly effective in helping young people find relevant jobs and overcome challenges of not having prior work experience when seeking employment. To date our corporate supporters have been proactive in creating vacancies within their organisation and undertaking outreach work with schools, colleges and universities to raise awareness amongst academic and vocational institutions.

Virtual Mentoring

The WORKing for YOUth movement uses virtual mentoring undertaken by industry experts from within the UK private sector to support young people through offering industry specific advice and guidance.

This programme continues to be a great success with over 60 employees from a number of businesses volunteering their own time to offer guidance and advice to young people currently navigating a tough job market. Throughout 2012, over 60 young people completed the WORKing for YOUth virtual mentoring programme and were supported in gaining employment opportunities.

This year, another 27 have undertaken the programme and we are pleased to have supported candidates in obtaining opportunities within banking, law, finance, media, public relations and insurance.

Recent statistics exhibit a diminishing labour force participation rate due to a decline in confidence and optimism amongst young people currently navigating a tough job market. One key contributing factor has been a lack of adequate feedback to unsuccessful candidates that is exacerbating the problem. WORKing for YOUth has worked closely with over 56 corporate partners from the private sector to overcome this challenge through providing mentoring support from industry experts.

SME Fund

WORKing for YOUth is currently establishing a SME Fund that will be used to help high growth SMEs within the UK hire young people for the period of 12 months. Funding will be provided by WORKing for YOUth for the first year and will be matched by the SME the following year to create two years of employment.

SMEs are responsible for approximately 67% of private sector hiring in the UK; assisting this sector to take on more young people will create a major portion of 200,000 jobs that we aim to create by 2015.

Support from Businesses

To date, WORKing for YOUth has received tremendous support from large and small businesses within the private sector. Corporate partners within hospitality, tourism, financial services, banking, law, aviation and insurance have created apprenticeship and graduate schemes to help young people aged 16-24 obtain employment opportunities. Furthermore, many WORKing for YOUth supporters have delivered skills seminars and interview speed dating events that are designed to provide unemployed young people with exposure to employers in a business context. Many larger partners continue to provide on-going mentoring support to the movement that has been instrumental in helping young people secure employment.

University Engagement

Over the past year, WORKing for YOUth has engaged universities throughout the UK to help young people gain employer interactions and potential job opportunities. We launched an exciting event at Liverpool FC alongside Standard Chartered Bank whereby students could meet SME owners and large employers to discuss their career aspirations and deepen their insights into the respective industries. Another highlight involved taking 15 young people from various universities and colleges to meet a FTSE 100 company Board at Cliveden House. Such events have been pivotal in raising career aspirations and nurturing confidence amongst future talent.