Youth employment

Young people are less likely to be in work than older adults and more likely to be affected by the economic impacts of coronavirus.

For young people, having access to high quality employment opportunities, through which they can continue to develop their skills and experience, are vital to building a successful career. There is evidence that long-term unemployment can have a scarring effect, with a long-lasting negative impact on young people’s careers.

As Learning and Work Institute analysis shows, young people have been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, and we have seen youth unemployment surge as a result. Preventing this feeding through into long-term youth unemployment is a major priority.

All young people should be supported to achieve their potential in learning and in work. Young people should have access to a variety of high-quality pathways to develop their skills and build their experience, and they should have access to high quality advice to pick the option that is right for them.

We have extensive experience of helping to design and evaluate effective employment and skills programmes for young people, at both national and local level. We use this experience to help inform policy.

Our Youth Commission has examined the employment and skills system for young people in England, developing recommendations for policy based on international evidence and best practice.

This included producing a Youth Opportunity Index by combining seven measures of education and employment outcomes for young people in every local education authority (LEA) across the two nations. This enabled us to compare experiences and opportunities for young people locally, regionally and nationally.


We co-chair the Youth Employment Group, the UK’s largest coalition of youth employment experts

Our work on youth employment

Future Jobs Fund

The Future Jobs Fund was introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions in 2009 as a response to significant concerns about the long-term effects of rising youth unemployment. This report summarises the benefits and areas for improvement related to this approach, which could prove valuable for the current employment situation.
Download the report

Youth Opportunity Index in the media

See coverage on Channel 4 News of our Youth Opportunity Index, which highlights outcomes for young people in learning and work across the country
Employment and YP - Channel 4 (4)

Other employment support areas