We all know that Youth Unemployment is a major issue and so any initiative or project that is doing its bit to help bring about a solution has to be given praise. The latest such initiative is a pioneering programme which is being launched by Youth Employment UK CIC (YEUK) next week. In order to meet the challenge of helping 1 million unemployed under 25’s into work, UK companies are being invited to sign up to a charter of good practice which has been drawn up by YEUK and its advisory board in consultation with major employers and youth organisations. At its core of the programme is the aim to make every UK employer “Youth Friendly”.
As YEUK’s CEO Laura-Jane Rawlings, explains: “Youth unemployment is a growing social, economic and moral problem and despite government policies, it is still a big problem for the UK. For too long, report after report talks about the cure of youth unemployment lying at the door of UK business; Young people need to gain experience and knowledge that only the world of work can provide. But too little has been done to create a “Youth Friendly UK” and this is why YEUK has developed this national badge. Every UK employer could do something to be more “youth friendly” and help to reverse the trend and damage of youth unemployment. For some companies, this is part of their DNA – BT, Barclays and Rolls Royce are great examples of big business doing it, and we know there are thousands of small businesses already youth friendly at their core. But this still only equates to 1 in 4 businesses and that’s what we need to challenge.
YEUK’s FREE “Youth Friendly” badge will awarded to companies who are able to demonstrate that they are invested in supporting young people into employment. The badge has been developed over the last 8 + months under the consultation of key organisations such as Barclays, WORKing for YOUths, UK Youth, Brightside, ASDAN, the REC and many others who have all helped influence its final model. It has been designed so that every micro and corporate business and anyone in between can do their bit for youth employment.
The process consists of three steps:
1. Signing up to Positive Youth Charter, an agreement signed by employers, young people and training providers. It creates a common language and commitment by all of those working to fight youth unemployment.
2. Two “youth friendly” activities per year. The Youth Friendly Menu lists all the great activities that employers can undertake to support young people and schools: careers talks in schools, work placements, work-visits, mentoring and many more
3. Certification: companies benchmark existing current business behaviours against the eight “Youth Friendly” ones to see how their organisation supports young people within its operation. Meet six or more of the criteria and the company is certified as “Youth Friendly”.
The Youth Friendly Badge (CC) will launch officially on the 30th of May in London and after this organisations all across the UK will be able to apply for a badge free at www.yeuk.org.uk .
Here at The Employable, we’d like to wish the best of luck to Laura Jane and the entire YEUK team on this great initiative!