Youth commission

Young people in theory have a world filled with opportunity and longer lives to enjoy it. But for too many these opportunities are out of reach. Educational attainment is increasingly central to life chances, but more dependent on family background here than in other countries.

Rises in insecure work along with stalled pay risk further divides within and between generations. This is a tale of two countries and the challenge that the Youth Commission has tackled: how to ensure all young people have a fair chance in life.

We identified five key challenges to raise attainment and narrow inequalities:

  1. Better supporting the 700,000 young people not in education, employment or training;
  2. Increasing the number of people qualified to at least Level 3;
  3. Improving attainment in literacy and numeracy and other basic skills;
  4. Creating a diversity of higher-level learning routes through life;
  5. Support job quality, career progression, and economic security Debate today is too often polarised between extremes.

The Youth Commission has focused on:

  • Current education and employment outcomes for young people and how these vary by area and demographic group.
  • The impact of future changes to the jobs market resulting from automation and global economic change.
  • Whether current policy plans, including apprenticeships, T Levels and the Youth Obligation, match up to need.
  • Examples of best practice from the UK and other countries.
  • Developing a vision for better support for young people, and concrete proposals for delivering this.

The Coronavirus crisis risks widening existing social inequalities in our society. Early research by Learning and Work Institute shows that young people are some of the groups most at risk of economic and social exclusion.

Find out more by reading our series of Youth Commission reports

Youth Opportunity Index

Our Youth Opportunity Index gives a detailed portrait of the opportunities and challenges for every young person broken down by local education authority. It has revealed the intra-regional differences in England as well as regional ones.
Employment and YP - Channel 4 (2)

Our commissioners

  • Portrait

    Kate Green MP

    Shadow Education Secretary

    Kate Green MP

    Shadow Education Secretary

  • Amy King_0080

    Amy King

    Found of Glamsci

    Amy King

    Found of Glamsci

  • IMG_3116_Jo_Maher_500px

    Jo Maher

    Principal and CEO, Loughborough College

    Jo Maher

    Principal and CEO, Loughborough College

  • Festival of Learning

    Maggie Galliers CBE

    Chair of Board

    Maggie Galliers CBE

    Chair of Board

    Maggie is Chair of the Learning and Work Institute Board. She is also a Council Member of the Open University and the Royal Anniversary Trust further education advisory panel. A past President of the Association of Colleges, a College Principal for 16 years and more recently a Chair steering a college out of intervention and into merger she has broad and deep experience of colleges and their delivery partners. As a former member of the boards of national funders, regulators and improvement bodies she also has a keen interest in policy and its impact. Maggie was made CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to local and national further education.

Our sponsors

  • Aqua blue and navy AOC logo of Association of Colleges
  • Bright red logo of Prospects
  • Navy blue NOCN logo
  • Light blue with pink sideways rainbow of Capital City College Group
  • Black and white logo with crest of arms of London South Bank University