Youth unemployment

Before COVID-19 hit, Impetus' Youth Jobs Gap series had measured the gap in employment outcomes between young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and their better-off peers. The findings were stark – disadvantaged young people are twice as likely to not be in education, employment or training (NEET). COVID-19 will only exacerbate this gap.

Young people are disproportionately impacted by recessions, and this has never been more true than during the COVID-19 crisis. Young people are 2.5 times more likely to work in a shutdown sector and youth employment is now at a record low.

In response to this, Impetus convened and co-chairs the Youth Employment Group (YEG) to bring together key leaders and experts to help drive the UK's response. The YEG now has over 170 members in and around the youth employment sector, ranging from employers to local authorities, charities and researchers. Together, we’re ensuring youth employment stays top of the agenda.

Credit where credit’s due: the government has prioritised youth employment and made efforts to address it in their announcements earlier this year, but it must go further.
Sam Windett, Director of Policy at Impetus and co-chair of the Youth Employment Group

We need to tackle the significant and long-term nature of the youth unemployment crisis ahead of us. Our analysis shows we need to create an extra #1000Opportunities per day to bring the number of young people not in education, employment or training back to pre-crisis levels by Autumn 2021.

That’s why we called for an Opportunity Guarantee to ensure that all young people have the choice of a quality education, training or work placement. And it’s why we recommend that, if it works, the Kickstart scheme should be expanded to reach young people not on Universal Credit who are in danger of falling through the gaps.

Read our full set of recommendations in our Spending Review submission.

Read about Impetus' other policy and research areas including:

Find out more

Securing a place for young people in the nation’s economic recovery: Final recommendations from the Youth Employment Group (YEG)

The YEG recommends that clear objectives are set to monitor progress in supporting young people during the economic crisis and beyond.

September 2020

Youth Jobs Gap: Establishing the Employment Gap

This first report from Impetus' Youth Jobs Gap series shows that there is an employment gap between disadvantaged young people and their better-off peers. This report draws on newly available government data to explore the employment outcomes of young people in England.

April 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: Higher Education

Higher Education is one of the most topical issues in politics, with the UK government’s post-18 education and funding review (the Augur review) due to report back imminently. For the first time, this Youth Jobs Gap report analyses the Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO) data, showing the clearest picture of disadvantaged young people and their access to higher education to date, including differences between different regions in England.

May 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: Apprenticeships

This Youth Jobs Gap report uses the Longitudinal Education Outcomes data to reveal how disadvantaged young people are accessing and progressing in apprenticeships, including differences between regions in England.

June 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: The Employment Gap in the North West

The first three reports in the Youth Jobs Gap series have looked at NEET rates, higher education, and apprenticeships. These national reports have also looked at differences between regions – but differences within the regions are often greater than the differences between regions. This fourth report looks at the North West region – drilling down to the local authority area level, including the combined authority areas of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region.

June 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: The Employment Gap in the West Midlands

Our Youth Jobs Gap series looks at NEET rates, higher education, and apprenticeships across the country. Our reports also look at differences between regions and within regions. This fifth report looks at the West Midlands region.

July 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: The long-term NEET population

In our Youth jobs Gap series, we have looked at NEET rates both nationally and regionally. This report looks longer-term, at what happens when a young person becomes NEET, and how this affects disadvantaged young people compared to their better-off peers.

September 2019

Youth Jobs Gap: Benchmarking Resurgo

Benchmarking Resurgo shows that the issues raised in our Youth Jobs Gap series are not inevitable. Young people who take part in Resurgo's Spear Programme move into employment at twice the national rate, showing that Resurgo Spear gets more young people into work and gets them there quicker.

February 2020

Youth Jobs Gap: The Employment Gap in London

The eighth report in our Youth Jobs Gap series, this one focused on London, finds that the rate of young people out of education, employment and training in London is consistently higher than the national average. But it's not all bad news: young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in London are more than twice as likely to go onto higher education than their peers in other regions.

February 2020

Youth Jobs Gap: The impact of English and maths

English and maths are often described as the most important subjects in education, but just how important are they? The ninth report in our Youth Jobs Gap series reveals for the first time the extent to which English and maths GCSEs lead to better outcomes for young people.

April 2020

Youth Jobs Gap: Methodology

The Youth Jobs Gap research series uses new Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) data to present new insights into disadvantaged young people’s transition from compulsory education into employment. The technical details in this document are important to fully understand how we've used LEO for the Youth Jobs Gap series.

April 2019

Youth Jobs Index 2017

Progress in tackling youth unemployment has ground to a halt. Our second Youth Jobs Index has found that the number of young people spending over a year not earning or learning has increased.

June 2017