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Lizzie Crowley
Senior Researcher
Lizzie Crowley

The Work Foundation at the Labour Party Fringe

Authors: Lizzie Crowley

25 September 2014

Despite recent falls in youth unemployment, policy makers, business leaders, educators and third sector organisations must guard against complacency. Youth unemployment was on the rise before the recession and will not be solved by the recovery alone.

Aiming to keep youth unemployment high on the political agenda The Work Foundation, along with Impetus-Private Equity Foundation, held a fringe event at the Labour Party conference. We were joined by Rushanara Ali, Shadow Education Minister who reiterated Labour’s commitment to focusing on the “forgotten 50 per cent” and set out a series of policy areas, including:

  • Rebuilding careers information advice and guidance
  • Reinstating the entitlement to work experience for all young people
  • Building partnerships between private and state schools
  • Ensuring proper measurement and appropriate inspection by Ofsted to ensure young people receive quality IAG
  • Strengthening vocational education and building proper progression routes
  • Developing a Youth Jobs Guarantee based on the Future Jobs Fund

Through our Missing Million programme we have been calling for urgent reform on a number of these areas so Labour’s commitment to this agenda is welcome. However, concern was voiced from the audience of the need to create a sustainable system and that constant reform has made it difficult for employers to engage.

I left the conference encouraged by the commitment and enthusiasm of both the audience and panel to ensure that young people are equipped with the right support and skills to succeed and build rewarding careers. Next stop is our fringe at the Conservative Party Conference where I am looking forward to discussing these issues with Lord Holmes and others, and hearing about what a Conservative government would do to ensure all young people are able to benefit as the economy recovers.

View a storify of the event here