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Youth employment figures are on the rise but there is a danger in complacency. NEETs and young people without qualifications are at risk of being left behind as the economy recovers. Young people are more likely than other groups to be employed on non-standard employment contracts without access to training and to be in insecure and part-time work. Their lack of skills holds them back and disadvantages their employment prospects over time. They aren’t as productive as they should be, now or over time. This is a potential “perfect storm” with severe economic and social ramifications. Addressing these issues now will lead to a significant, positive, impact for individual young people, their communities and for the long term prosperity of UK plc.
Informed by a youth focus group and building on from the two previous Youth Employment Conventions, the Youth Summit earlier this year and the legacy report from the 2014 Convention “Converting Conversations into Actions” this year’s programme - developed together with NIACE - looks at the route to work from a young person’s perspective addressing the education, employability and skills issues that young people tell us are their priorities.
The event will kick off with a working breakfast giving ample opportunity for ice breaking. Plenaries and breakouts throughout the day will encourage debate, networking and audience participation. Young people are contributing to the content of the programme and their input throughout the event will be critical. They are being encouraged to participate on all panels and from the audience. We will create an energetic and exciting environment in which collaborative working can be discussed and celebrated, and new relationships forged. The Convention will take forward key recommendations from the day in the form of a soft lobbying campaign.
This event will give a voice to everyone who cares about the future prospects of the UK’s prime asset – its young people.