Skills for Every Young Person

Year of Publication: 

The House of Lords Select Committe on Youth Unemployment has produced a report, Skills for Every Young Person. The Committee was appointed to make recommendations on youth unemployment, education and skills. Its report focusses on these key areas and also makes wider recommendations about apprenticeships, careers guidance and inequality in the labour market.


Key recommendations

The report's main conclusions and recommendations are:

  • There are skills gaps and shortages in existing and emerging sectors, damaging productivity. The Government must develop a long-term national plan for identifying, anticipating, measuring and addressing skills gaps and shortages with a focus on the needs of the digital and green economy. To ensure young people are equipped with essential knowledge and the technical, cultural and creative skills, the Government must recalibrate the compulsory components of the national curriculum and performance measures, putting skills development at the centre.
  • Access to high quality careers education is improving but equal provision remains patchy. The Government must make CEIAG a compulsory element of the curriculum in all schools from Key Stage 1 to 4 alongside religious education, and sex and relationships education, as part of a Career Guidance Guarantee.
  • Further Education has been undervalued and significantly underfunded. The Government must devise a new method of funding for FE, determined by student demand, and students accessing the Lifetime Skills Guarantee at levels 2 and 3 should attract automatic in-year funding determined by a tariff. This would ensure the availability of places, and result in extra funding so that institutions can recruit high quality teachers and obtain the latest industry-standard equipment.
  • Apprenticeships are in short supply, and current funding mechanisms tend to benefit older workers. The Government must require that any employer receiving funding from the apprenticeship levy must spend at least two thirds of that funding on people who begin apprenticeships at levels 2 and 3 before the age of 25.
  • Groups including Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups, those disadvantaged by socio-economic background, and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) face significant barriers to work. The Government must launch an Education and Workplace Race Equality Strategy, focussing on removing barriers including mandating regular collection of data. It must ensure every disadvantaged young person has access to tailored careers guidance.
  • Youth unemployment policy is created in silos, resulting in a confusing landscape of initiatives and a lack of accountability at the top. The Government must appoint an independent Young People's Commissioner to be the voice of youth aged 16 to 24.


The report makes a number of recommendations around young people with educational needs and disabilities:

253. In addition to the challenges young people with additional needs may face in their everyday lives, they face greater disadvantage in the labour market than their peers without additional needs. While there are a range of mechanisms in place to support young people with additional needs, the Government’s Plan for Jobs included no targeted support for people with disabilities, despite the fact they were disproportionately more likely to be affected than their peers without additional needs.

254. The Government must explore the feasibility of offering incentive payments to employers offering supported internships, to provide parity with apprenticeships.

255. The Government must recruit more Disability Employment Advisors to provide parity with the increase in work coaches, help to meet its target of getting more disabled people into work, and support better awareness of Access to Work.

256. As part of its upcoming consultation on strengthening pathways to employment for disabled people, the Government must consider grant funding for a jobs guarantee for disabled young people — offering six months paid work and training accompanied by wraparound support — for any young person who has SEND and is newly unemployed.

257. The Government must clearly set out how it plans to monitor and publish its progress towards achieving the ambitions set out in the National Disability Strategy.