We are absolutely delighted to report that The Found Generation and some of our key reports and policy proposals were cited with approval this week in a Westminster Hall debate in the UK Parliament, held on Tuesday 27 October 2015.
The debate, on ‘Young Jobseekers’ and the role of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Jobcentre Plus in helping them, was arranged and led by Chloe Smith MP, head of the Norwich for Jobs campaign and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Youth Employment. Chloe opened the debate by explaining that:
“I want to lead a positive and constructive debate using recent research into the role of the Department for Work and Pensions, specifically jobcentres, in supporting young people to find long-term employment“.
In particular, Chloe focused on recent research and proposals from two organisations working with young people: YMCA England and The Found Generation. Praising us as an “extremely practical group that asks young people for their own solutions to the problem of young unemployment”, Chloe made reference to our two major reports – last year’s report on Practical Solutions to UK Youth Unemployment and our pre-election Manifesto on Youth Employment – as well as making the Government and MPs aware of some of our specific policy proposals.
We were also very pleased to see a mention for our friends at Youth Employment UK for their Youth Friendly Charter programme and their work as the secretariat of the APPG on Youth Employment.
The key quotes relating to us and Youth Employment UK are as follows:
“Research by the Found Generation holds up MyGo, a youth employment centre that was the starting point of the Ipswich project, as a very powerful project…”
“…I would also recommend that Members take a look at the work of the Found Generation, as mentioned earlier. It is another extremely practical group that asks young people for their own solutions to the problem of young unemployment. In July 2014, it published “Practical Solutions to UK Youth Unemployment”, a report asking for four things. First, it asks that we expand
“the use of public sector procurement to create jobs for young people”, which I note that the Minister for the Cabinet Office is now doing. Secondly, we are asked to back
“a national ‘kitemark’ to recognise ‘youth friendly’ employers” and I note that at least one organisation, Youth Employment UK—the secretariat of the all-party parliamentary group that I chair—is already doing so. Indeed, hon. Members can qualify for the award, as I have. I am a recognised youth-friendly MP…Thirdly, the report argues for
“the creation of more local partnerships—including representation for young people—to co-ordinate” the work that needs to be done. I hope that my examples make that clear. Finally, the report argues for the creation of
“a cross-government youth employment unit or agency in the UK Government, headed by a Minister for Youth Employment”.
I am aware that such a scheme exists in the Scottish Government, so perhaps Scottish Members can outline a few points around that. Will the Minister give an update on what the Government’s earn-or-learn taskforce is doing? The Found Generation’s manifesto for youth employment at the 2015 general election echoed many of the themes that I drew out from the earlier research. We are looking for a more specialist, personalised, sustainable and empowered approach that puts young people at its heart.”
Chloe also very kindly cited our work in an article for PoliticsHome.com in advance of the debate, which can be found here.