In a world challenged by COVID-19, what does the ‘new normal’ look like for young people seeking work, and how can we all help?

Here’s what we have to say

Research has shown that disadvantaged young people will be amongst the worst affected groups of people as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Yet we believe they could also be the smartest solution to rebuilding our workforces.

Movement to Work (MtW) is a not-for-profit coalition of UK employers, youth-outreach organisations, training providers and government allies – all aiming to level the playing field for young people facing barriers to work. We work with employers to deliver brilliant work experience and vocational solutions for their organisation, in-house or through one of our recommended training providers.

MtW exists to reduce the number of young people who are ‘Not in Education, Employment, or Training’ (NEET). The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest threat to young people and their career prospects for over a decade. We know that when we empower young people and welcome them into our industries, they not only forge brighter futures for themselves, they go on to add real value to our businesses, and they improve our whole society.

Now, more than ever, we need to provide young people with the support to thrive at work and acknowledge their vital role in our economic recovery.

Movement to Work believes we should continue to help #YoungPeopleWork  – because it works for them, it works for business, and it works for society.

Here’s Why
  • There is clear evidence that prolonged spells of unemployment, particularly while young, can cause long-lasting ‘scars’ on an individual’s future earnings, employment prospects and health and well-being.
  • Some reports suggest that prolonged spells of unemployment could lead to rises in poor mental health, disenfranchised youth, making them more likely to turn to delinquency and lifestyles of crime.
  • Employees aged under 25 are about two and a half times as likely to work in a sector that is now shut down as other employees.
  • Across all outcome measures, younger workers expect a more severe economic shock in the coming months than older workers: younger workers believe they have a much larger chance of losing their job and have difficulties paying their bills, and they also expect to make a smaller percentage of their usual income.
  • The UK is largely still ‘locked down’ due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and no clear role for young people have been defined as part of the exit strategy. A supported and prioritised Young-workforce release could lead to substantial economic and societal benefits without enormous health costs to the country. In this way, the nation might begin to move forward in the footsteps of the young.
  • We believe that giving young people a leading role in the re-build of the workforce following COVID-19 will instil a strong sense of purpose and deliver positive long-term outcomes for young people and the economy.
  • COVID-19 is hitting business budgets hard – yet hiring young people can be cost effective. MtW members report savings recruiting via employability programmes vs traditional recruitment channels. What’s more, we have seen that in supporting and hiring disadvantaged young people, they are comparatively more likely to become loyal employees and customers long after first hire.

    * We’ve been compiling emerging research which support these statements, which can be found HERE.



Whether it’s already furloughed workers, young people on development and training programmes, or potential new hires, MtW encourages organisations to prioritise young people as part of their ‘back to work’ strategy. Young people inject fresh energy, different perspectives, and can be cost effective to hire. They also help to develop and motivate existing staff members through mentorship.



COVID-19 has forced most businesses to rapidly review BAU, turning to digital solutions to enable remote working and provide new products and services. MtW urges organisations to find creative ways to continue training, development and work experience for young people online. MtW can offer advice and best practice on how to make this transition, including sharing tools that are already out there and initiatives to support accessibility.


COVID-19 has been a shock to the system, presenting us all with new professional and personal challenges to our mental health and wellbeing. We need to be acutely aware of this as we move forward, ensuring safety and support is paramount. Young people are amongst the most likely to become increasingly disillusioned and fall into negative behaviour patterns. We must help young people to feel a part of society by giving them new opportunities to improve their prospects, putting ‘money in their pockets’, and enabling a new wave of active consumers with bright futures ahead of them.



If we are all able to instill the above sentiments to our ‘back to work’ strategies, Movement to Work believes we can emerge stronger than ever.




Kickstart – In July 2020, the government committed up to £2.1bn for Great Britain, to fund the direct creation of 300,000 high quality ‘Kickstart’ jobs for 18-24-year-olds. Since then, Movement to Work (MTW) has been working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to support the design and implementation of the new scheme. We want to help as many employers as possible access Kickstart, and ensure these jobs offer young people brilliant experiences in the workplace. Check out our new Kickstart page HERE and get in touch with a member of the team today to find out how you can get involved. 

MtW Youth Ambassador programme launch – MtW Youth Ambassador programme – This exciting programme was launched during Summer 2020 and provides the essential youth voice of Movement to Work helping to inspire employers, fellow young people, and society at large to overcome barriers to work. For young people and by young people, the dedicated Instagram account is here and more information on how to join can be found here. Find out more HERE

MtW FREE online skills learning – Movement to Work offers two free online learning programmes for young people to develop their employability skills. These programmes are free to join, easily accessible and can be used at any time. Start now HERE

MtW Impact Map – Made in partnership with JP Morgan Chase’s Force for Good programme, this new tool helps you to map your impact whilst tackling youth unemployment. Whether it’s by finding out where the most young people in need are, where potential partners are, or where fellow MtW members are located, The Movement to Work Impact Map helps connect the dots. The Movement to Work Impact Map enables effective learning, planning, and collaboration in order to maximise strategic impact regionally and nation-wide.

MtW & Get My First Job FREE ads – Previously Movement to Work could only promote unpaid opportunities through GetMyFirstJob, however, due to recent challenges presented by COVID-19, paid opportunities are now able to be advertised FREE of charge for Movement to Work members. If your business or organisation have any suitable opportunities please do not hesitate to get in touch:

We’re hiring – MtW is putting its money where its mouth is and developing its very own work placement aimed at disadvantaged young people, set to launch at MtW HQ in the next 12-months. We’re investing in youth talent and we hope you will too!


MtW Virtual WEx toolkit –  Created in collaboration with Accenture, this FREE toolkit provides guidance on creating a virtual Movement To Work programme. This includes the information, best practice and tools to support MTW partners to kickstart their planning and consider what a virtual programme could look like. It explores possible tools, techniques and ideas as well as identifying key considerations to take into account when creating a virtual programme.

Download the FREE MtW Virtual Work Experience toolkit HERE

Movement to Work Forums – ONLINE! MtW hosts online forums regularly. Divided into Insight, Impact and Inspire, these are informative sessions with contributions from research experts, businesses, charities, youth outreach organisations and training providers across our network. Join us as we explore how we’re all adapting following COVID-19, the impact on young people, and the road ahead. To register interest contact info@movementtowork.comTo register interest contact 

MtW Virtual Careers Fair Movement to Work will launch a series of virtual careers fairs allowing employers to signpost their upcoming opportunities directly to young people. The sessions will consist of short employer presentations followed by live, anonymous Q&A via a digital platform. Opportunities will be amplified via both digital and social channels, and by local government, job centres and youth outreach organisations. We are looking for employers to pilot the scheme to explore if this is a beneficial and viable option for young people and businesses during this time and beyond. The timescale is flexible and dependent on recruitment need, so please do get in contact if this would be of value in the short, medium, or long-term. To register interest contact

MtW FREE online skills learning – Movement to Work offers two free online learning programmes for young people to develop their employability skills. These programmes are free to join, easily accessible and can be used at any time. Start now HERE


Influence and Inspire – We are working with our network to push for continued Government-led positive action, helping to ensure sufficient support is there for young people and vital Youth and Employment Services. Movement to Work has also joined with Impetus, Youth Futures Foundation, Youth Employment UK, the Institute for Employment Studies and The Prince’s Trust, who recently formed the Youth Employment Group (YEG) to help drive the UK’s response to challenges posed by COVID-19. To find out more see HERE

Movement to Work Virtual Coffee Catch Up – ONLINE! Movement to Work, we will be hosting a series of closed-door ‘virtual coffee’ sessions, inviting our partners to join together in an informal way to discuss current issues, challenges and best practice. The initial session will be chaired by MtW and will be a relaxed 45-minute conversation focussing around your needs as an employer in today’s climate. To register interest contact

Be in the know – we are in a unique position as our community spans businesses, charities, youth outreach and training providers. We’re committed to collating and sharing latest news, updates, and research helping to provide advice, resources and insights. Find out more and promote your updates on our dedicated COVID-19 Response Blog HERE and get up to speed on the latest research and data HERE

MtW resources update MtW has developed a new Employer Guide and Welcome Pack to ensure placements for young people go as smoothly as possible – all for free. To get your copy contact

HERE’S WHAT you can do

To existing Movement to work members

  • Back the campaign – download the campaign COMMS PACK and share on your channels
  • Join the conversation – follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates.
  • Use our three pillars to guide and inspire your COVID-19 response strategy
  • Attend our virtual events and use our latest digital resources

Non-members or potential members

  • Back the campaign – download the campaign COMMS PACK and share on your channels
  • Join the conversation – follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates.
  • Use our three pillars to guide and inspire your COVID-19 response strategy
    • Completely FREE to join – no cost for you or your organisation
    • Receive bespoke advice from industry experts
    • Access additional funding with experienced guidance
    • Unlock diverse talent and boost CSR
  • Be part of a network sharing best practice and thought leadership
  • Attend our virtual events and use our latest digital resources