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Government Relations

 

 

On this page you will find a list of our lobbying points for government, along with letters and responses we’ve submitted.


Lobbying points for MPs

A disproportionate number of young people are unemployed, but work placements help many to start careers.

Through Movement to Work over 100,000 work placements have been completed, with over 50% of those completing them, who were not previously in education, employment or training, progressing into jobs, apprenticeships or returning to education.

We are asking MPs to recommend that organisations in their constituency sign up to Movement to Work to reduce local youth unemployment and to consider a number of other issues, including Apprenticeship Levy reform.

  1. The Apprenticeship Levy is damaging early stage apprenticeships, and the chances for employment of those not quite ready for apprenticeships. With reform it could also support those furthest from employment.

  2. There must be more investment for youth-outreach organisations to help get young people work ready.

  3. Young people must be better equipped for the jobs of the future, and for developing technology. Whilst they are proficient in using it, relatively few can develop it.

  4. There is a skills shortage in key areas. How do we convince employers to look deeper into the labour market for people who can take these skills?

  5. Joined-up Government approach. Too many departments have responsibility for young people and factors affecting their employment.

Background

Youth unemployment was 11.8% in February 2019, and far higher in areas of deprivation, compared to 4.0% for the whole population. It’s easy to see why some young people become marginalised from society, trapped in a ‘no-experience, no job’ cycle. Over 750,000 are not in employment, education or training (NEET). And amongst these are thousands without the networks that lead to work placements that help develop ambition.

Movement to Work (MtW) unlocks these young people’s potential by encouraging employers to offer work-placements and other career opportunities; this is not just the right thing to do for young people, it’s the right thing for organisations to do for investment and workforce morale. Through MtW, organisations can provide experience, skills and confidence that help young people support themselves, their communities and ultimately the whole of society.

What is Movement to Work?

Movement to Work is a not-for-profit coalition of the UK’s leading employers, civil society and Government. We are tackling youth unemployment and bringing about systemic change by investing in the future of our economy, getting young people into jobs. We have a diverse membership, made up of public and private-sector organisations of all sizes, across many industries. Additionally, we draw on the collective expertise of our NGO partners and are backed by the CBI, DWP, and TUC. Employer members include Accenture, BAE Systems, Barclays, BT, BUPA, Centrica, the Department for Work and Pensions, Diageo, HSBC, IBM, Marks and Spencer, Marriott International, NHS, Tesco, Unilever and Wates, amongst others.

Why should organisations join Movement to Work and begin giving young people a chance?

Employers working with MtW have recognised that recruiting in this way makes both ethical and financial sense through lower recruitment costs, enhanced loyalty of placement graduates, improved morale of existing staff through mentoring young people who have not had many chances in life and the ability to build in-house talent through training.

The Apprenticeship Levy – Focus

A CBI survey found that 27% of businesses will cut back on non-apprenticeship training due to the Levy. According to the Department for Education, only 14 per cent of Level 2 (intermediate) and 11 per cent of Level 3 (advanced) apprentices were not in education, employment or training (NEET) before their apprenticeship. The Levy is drawing employers’ resources away from other pre-employment training, including work placements and other pathways for those not quite ready for an apprenticeship.  Work placements offer invaluable experience and opportunities to these young people and help overcome barriers to employment.

Over 50% of those who complete a Movement to Work’s placement move on to jobs or back into education, demonstrating that pre-employment training provides tangible benefits for young people facing employment barriers. We would like to see the Government aim for 20 per cent of intermediate and advanced apprenticeship starts to be filled by young people who are NEET.

The Government should introduce focus in the use of Levy to address the challenges for employers with skills shortages and those of young people with lack of accessible routes into employment by:

  • allowing employers to use a proportion of their Levy funding to pay for other forms of skills training, including work placements. This would allow them to make the best use of their funding while still meeting the Government’s ambition to deliver a ‘skills revolution’
  • focusing the levy on pathways into and progression through employment, reducing the overall contribution but focus it on levels 2-5, supporting people into careers
  • enabling employers to use up to 10% of funds in their Apprenticeship Levy account on ‘pre-apprenticeships’ for young people who are NEET. This would require only 4% of the annual Levy to support 50,000 of these young people into apprenticeships, helping to establish apprenticeships as a vehicle for social mobility.
Youth outreach organisations

Many young people depend upon charities and other youth organisations to help them with specific needs. And many employers depend upon them to help find and prepare young people for the workplace. However, there have been deep cuts to the UK’s youth facilities: 760 youth clubs have closed since 2012 and 4,500 youth worker jobs have been lost, according to analysis by Unison. Since 2010, English councils have slashed 62% from their spending on youth services, more than £700m. This lack of funding must be addressed.

Tech skills for the jobs of the future

Many young people can use ‘tech’ but not develop it. More must be done to generate interest in programming, etc, and help lift people into tech careers where there are so many skills gaps. If they can become more tech-literate then this will help them take on more complex roles in the future. Tech should be integrated across the curriculum, not treated as an ‘extra’.

Addressing the skills shortage

The DofE’s Employer Skills Survey 2017 showed skills shortage vacancies to be around 226,000, while hundreds of thousands of young people are unemployed. Industries particularly affected include construction, healthcare, transport and logistics. We want the Government to look at how it can encourage employers to address skills shortages through considering all young people for employment, and work towards matching young people with opportunities despite geographical boundaries.

Joined-up Government

The issue of youth unemployment sits with a range of departments: DfE, DWP and DCMS, amongst others. It makes tackling the issue complex and difficult. The Inclusive economy Partnership is a good example of cross-departmental co-operation but we need more of this aimed at tackling youth unemployment, particularly for those that need more support to get on the career ladder.


Letters & Responses

UK chief executives’ views on helping young people, who need more support, to get into meaningful employment

We would like to discuss with you a number of issues and opportunities raised at our recent chief executives’ summit.

In February Movement to Work, the work-placement charity, held several discussions between chief executives and other leaders of some of the UK’s largest organisations, youth outreach partners and young people who had gone through Movement to Work employability programmes with a range of employers. The aim of the discussions was primarily to explore the issues facing young people who need extra support to get on the career ladder. You can see the names of participants and their organisations at the end of this letter.

We have collected the principal themes of these discussions and presented them to you in order that we can discuss what more can be done to address youth unemployment. Overall, youth unemployment is down. However, young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than anyone else, yet the UK is facing a skills shortage like never before. And young people who need extra help to get onto the employment ladder are likely to be left even further behind, despite the incredible talent and loyalty of so many of them.

The principal themes brought up by attendees were:

  • the Apprenticeship Levy is damaging early stage apprenticeships, as well as the chances for employment of those not quite ready for apprenticeships. With reform it could be a catalyst to support those further from employment
  • there needs to be more intervention to match young people with relevant work opportunities, particularly when looking deeper into the labour market:
    • employers are encountering difficulties in finding young people who are deeper in the labour market
    • the UK is suffering from a skills shortage yet many young people who could be trained cannot find opportunities and are unemployed.
  • how young people with extra challenges can become great employees
  • mentorship is critical to transforming life chances of young people, especially those who need more support
  • young people look like they are proficient in tech, but actually they are only proficient at using it rather than creating it, there is a big opportunity to upskill them
  • careers guidance at schools is not working effectively and hasn’t worked for many years, employers can and should play a more active role in addressing this, ensuring young people are ready for working life
  • the national regional and local government approach is not joined up at each level and between the levels leading to a slow and complex response.

These issues and others that were discussed are outlined in more detail in the attached appendix. They are addressable, but we need your help and advice to ensure this. We are already addressing some of these issues through work placements, we have achieved 80,000 so far, with over 50% of those completing their placements going onto employment or education. But we would love to meet with you to discuss how we can change the trajectory even faster for young people in this space.

Please let me know when we can do this so that we can address any of the issues here where you think you can help. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

James Ashall

Chief Executive, Movement to Work

All-Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Employment Inquiry: Employer support for youth employment Response from Movement to Work

Focus of the inquiry

Considering the role government is asking employers to play in Careers Education, Apprenticeships, T-Levels, Work Experience and Welfare we want to explore what is working well, where there may be tension in the systems and how prepared schools, colleges are to support these asks.

Are all young people able to access the quality support they need from employers, are employers at saturation point, as the scale and ask grows how can we ensure quality across all engagements and how are SME’s being supported to engage with this agenda?

This series will be an opportunity to examine the Government’s key asks of employers. It will also be an opportunity for business to share their experiences; Members of Parliament to highlight the work taking place in their constituencies; for the APPG to explore if there is still more work to do; and examine what delivery of future work in this policy area might look like.

Movement to Work

Movement to Work (MtW) is a registered charity and a voluntary coalition of Britain’s leading employers, backed by the TUC, CBI and UK Government.  We are committed to providing high-quality work placements and other workplace opportunities for young people aged 16-30 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).  We particularly seek to help those who need extra support to get on the career ladder.

Over 100 UK employers are signed up to MtW, including the Civil Service and the NHS; FTSE 100 companies such as Accenture, BT, Centrica, HSBC, IBM, M&S & Unilever and numerous SMEs. Together, our members have delivered over 80,000 work placements over the last five years.  Of those completing placements, over 50% have achieved a ‘positive outcome’ by going directly into employment, further education or training.

While the UK’s overall unemployment rate is at its lowest level in decades, the number of young people who are NEET remains stubbornly high, particularly in deprived areas of the UK.  This is a significant economic and social issue for the UK.  We believe that well-resourced work-placement programmes, apprenticeships and other training opportunities have an important role to play in tackling youth unemployment.

Movement to Work CEO Summit

At our recent CEO Summit (February 2019) MtW hosted discussions between chief executives and other leaders of some of the UK’s largest organisations, youth outreach partners and young people who had gone through employability schemes found through Movement to Work. The aim of the discussions was primarily to explore the issues facing young people who need extra support to get on the career ladder. Though we were already aware of many of the issues, much of the evidence below is from these recent discussions.

Inquiry questions

What are the asks of government on employers regarding youth employment, are these appropriate, is there a strategic view across government of managing the expectation, supply and demand?

  • The Government’s main policy in this area is largely based around T-levels and apprenticeships, designed to give more young people the specific skills needed for work. The Government asks employers help design T-levels and apprenticeships.
  • There are a number of other programmes for which the Government seeks employer support, aimed at upskilling young people and bringing them closer to the jobs market. Sector-based work academies is one example, and the new Mentoring Circles programme.
  • Youth provision is split across many Government departments with DfE, DCMS, DWP, Cabinet Office all playing a role – this leads to many complex asks of organisations.  If the resources were pooled and focused the impact would be much greater
  • Although the Government could do more, it does support Movement to Work. What we believe to be vital is a centralised system where placements, apprenticeships and other opportunities could be classified and advertised. By way of example, Movement to Work operates such a system, our talent portal, but the Government needs to invest on a much larger scale in a portal like this to support employers looking for young people and the young people themselves looking for jobs.
  • There should be a systemic and joined-up approach to supporting young people who are NEET, with strong regional plans to address more local issues, such as a lack of industry; it is really important to have tailored approaches to different regions. We do not believe that Government departments, regional or local government are joined up on the issue of addressing youth unemployment.

Are schools, colleges and youth organisations able to manage the supply and demand needs they have?

  • According to West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), there are over 16,000 ‘open and available’ apprenticeships in the region that it cannot fill and 14,000 young people who are NEET. WMCA is not short on funding, it is short on coordination and alignment, and this is a situation that is repeated across the UK. Also, there are 350 youth organisations in WMCA but some of them only look after one person. There is a lack of direction from regional government and no central facility for youth outreach organisations to register young people looking for opportunities.
  • Employers constantly tell us that there is a lack of a mechanism to find young people looking for jobs. They also talk about the difficulty they have in trying to engage with schools in order to describe potential careers. Some young people find out about employment support opportunities through Job Centres but many don’t attend these, some because of a negative stigma around Job Centre attendance.
  • Movement to Work knows that there is a deep concern over the ability of schools to provide careers guidance, and this has been the case for many years: careers guidance at schools is not working and hasn’t worked for many years. Young people at our CEO Summit demonstrated again that many young people are not engaged in career paths that don’t depend on the academic route. There is a lack of funding and resources, so schools remain unfit to provide employment advice, and match young people to local vocational roles and apprenticeships. Until this is recognised and addressed the situation will not improve.

What are the challenges and opportunities of relying on the business community to fill some of these gaps?

  • As a collective of socially responsible employers, Movement to Work can say that the first challenge is convincing more organisations to offer work placements and other job opportunities to young people that need more support to take up meaningful careers.
  • Clearly some will not see this as a business imperative, they will not see the ‘RoI’. However, MtW’s principal messaging to address this challenge is around how organisations can gain opportunities:
  • giving young people a chance enables them to address skills shortages which are otherwise likely to increase over the next few years
  • young people recruited in this way are more loyal, turnover of staff is lower
  • cost of recruitment is lower
  • giving young people a chance in this way improves morale in current workforces, particularly amongst those who mentor young people.
  • MtW also states clearly the benefits and opportunities for society and the young people themselves when they find meaningful work.  The programmes delivered by MtW and its employer members have equated to an economic value to the UK of over £1bn[1] over the five-year period, with young people moving into employment no longer claiming benefits, paying tax and spending their pay.
  • Another challenge is funding for youth outreach organisations. This has fallen in recent years so not only is there a lack of help for young people with a range of issues including poverty, lack of networks for guidance, lack of qualifications, addiction, mental-health issues and disabilities, amongst others, it is these organisations that help to find suitable young people for placements in businesses and other organisations. So even when some employers make the decision to give young people a chance who have not had one before, these young people cannot be found easily.
  • Size of organisation is important too, with some smaller businesses considering that they are not big enough to do this. This can be addressed by larger organisations placing young people in supply chain organisations but providing formal training through their own, larger facilities.

What is working well, what does a great employer look like?

  • MtW’s overall model, where employers sign up to offer placements and other job opportunities that can lead to meaningful careers is working well and demonstrates what ‘great employers’ do. MtW’s employer members, including FTSE 100 companies and SMEs, have delivered 80,000 work placements over the last five years, for young people who are not in education, employment or training. The 80,000 work placements have been made possible by employers, charities and Government working together through MtW. Collectively they have provided young people with diverse and empowering experiences ranging from hospitality to engineering.
  • The placement programmes lead to tangible results for young people with more than 50 per cent of those finishing placements going back into employment or back to education
  • Great employers look like those signed up Movement to Work, who recognise the value to young people of building meaningful careers, the societal value of more people being in work and the benefit to their own businesses. They:
  • commit to a sustained plan of work placements or entry level jobs
  • offer placements and/or direct entry positions at a scale that is significant to their entry-level recruitment
  • provide placements that last approximately 2-4 weeks combining vocational training, employability skills and work experience
  • wherever possible, link placements to jobs, including apprenticeships, in order to meet Movement to Work’s aspiration to support 50% of the young people trained into employment, including apprenticeships, further study or training
  • offer a fair wage to all employees
  • comply with applicable UK workplace legislation and ensure safeguarding
  • have a clear plan on driving diversity and social mobility
  • drive upward mobility within your organisation
  • participate in sharing and learning across the MtW network, by participating in our forums for best practice and commitment to advertising placements on our talent platform
  • share and promote their membership and act as an ambassador to other employers
  • cascade their commitment via supply chains and business networks, where possible, to create a multiplier effect, encompassing employers large and small across the UK.

What could be done at a local and national level to support employers?

  • The Levy in its current form is not working effectively, particularly for SMEs, it needs a fundamental review. There is concern that lack of clarity in the current levy system is holding back apprenticeships and consequently numbers are down. There are examples where the apprenticeship levy has funded MBAs, the subject of a story in The Economist, which was not the intention of the Levy. The Levy should be focussed on the system failure at level 2 and 3 apprenticeships, with employers given back some of the levy pot to focus on upskilling current employees.  There is also a need for more funding for to support those into apprenticeships who aren’t ready for immediate entry.
  • A joined-up system for youth outreach organisations would be extremely valuable too. Employers are telling Movement to Work that even when they want to offer opportunities to young people, including those deeper in the labour market, they can’t find them.

We would be pleased to provide further information:

David Pincott
Head of Government Relations & PR
Movement to Work

[1]   Since 2013 80,000 placements have been delivered, with over 50% of those completing placements going onto employment or education. The figure illustrates the cumulative impact of those obtaining work, multiplied by the cost saving to the Government and benefit to the economy (using research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, based on the living wage and also assuming a conservative 90% retention rate year on year).

The Select Committee on Intergenerational Fairness & Provision What can we do to create a fair workplace for all generations?

Movement to Work is a registered charity and a voluntary coalition of Britain’s leading employers, backed by the TUC, CBI and UK Government.  We are committed to providing high-quality work placements and other workplace opportunities for young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).  We particularly seek to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Over 100 UK employers have signed up to the Movement, including the Civil Service and the NHS; FTSE 100 companies such as BT, Centrica, HSBC and M&S and other large private firms such as Accenture and numerous SMEs. Together, our members have delivered over 75,000 work placements over the last four years.  Of those completing placements, over 50% have achieved a ‘positive outcome’ by going directly into employment, further education or training.

  1. Is the intergenerational settlement in the UK currently fair? Which generations are better off or worse off, and in which ways?

While the UK’s overall unemployment rate is at its lowest level in decades, the number of young people (16-24) who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) remains stubbornly high, particularly in deprived areas of the UK.  This is a significant economic and social issue for the UK. 

Hundreds of thousands of young people are unemployed, far more than in other age groups. Many are trapped in a ‘no-experience, no job’ cycle. Around 800,000 are not in employment, education or training. And amongst these are thousands without the networks that enable them to take part in work placements to see what work is like and develop ambition.

We believe that well-resourced work-placement programmes, apprenticeships and other training opportunities have an important role to play in tackling youth unemployment. Training young people and helping them into work is an imperative for all organisations, commercial or otherwise.

  1. What are the future prospects for different generations in the light of current economic forecasting?

If the disparity between younger people, particularly those with difficult backgrounds, is not addressed then the unemployment gap between young and older workers will widen. Not only this, as older people leave the workplace their skills might not be replaced as fewer younger people have entered the pipeline, leaving the UK with damaging shortages in skills.

  1. To what extent do different generations have a better or worse experience of the labour market?

Compared with older generations, younger people who are NEET often face considerable barriers when attempting to access work-placements, apprenticeships and other training opportunities, including poor basic skills, low self-esteem, behavioural and health problems and lack of family support, including those with families who have never worked.

Because of their age, many young people have little or no work or ‘life’ experience. This will compound the barriers listed previously, coupled with difficulties with pre-employment checks for those with little basic family support. For example, younger applicants might not have access to a passport, driving licence, utility bills or money for travel. There is also often employer discrimination, conscious or otherwise. Some may also have criminal records, which raises the issue of how to disclose a criminal record to employers as constructively as possible.

Many find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle of ‘no experience, no job; no job, no experience’.  Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are also less likely than their peers to have the opportunity to participate in unpaid work experience such as internships.  With high levels of competition for places on high-quality apprenticeship schemes, those without any prior work experience may find it difficult or even impossible to secure a place.

This is particularly the case for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who are likely to have fewer formal academic qualifications to support their application.  The academic qualifications required by employers for apprenticeships often have little relevance for the job itself, meaning that in some cases the requirement for qualifications can act as an arbitrary barrier to employment for otherwise capable and determined young people.

Though it is hard to say whether these issues are on the increase or otherwise, lack of family support remains a serious barrier for many young people who want to achieve social mobility and make a positive contribution to society through work. As a result, we continually seek to increase our capacity for providing work placements by signing up more employers who will pledge to provide placements.

Another barrier is transport: in rural areas a young person might live several miles from a placement. If there is no bus service, the young person may not be able to access a work opportunity, as few have access to a car or motorbike. Cycling is a viable alternative for some, but for others safety, distance, access to a roadworthy bike are all issues.

  1. What needs to change to enable longer and fuller working lives for all? What role should employers play in providing solutions? What role can technology play?

Movement to Work knows that work experience and other job opportunities aimed at those who are NEET are key to providing fuller working lives; we are asking employers to look deeper into the labour market. The principal issue facing many of these young people is that they simply do not have the networks that other families have to access work experience opportunities. Work experience is one of the biggest driving forces behind developing ambition to take on certain roles a young person may never have been aware of prior to that experience. It also enables organisations to see what a person is like when they are actually in the workplace, where determination, intelligence and common sense often outweigh qualifications.

We have seen many young people go through a Movement to Work placement or other job opportunity schemes who had these issues but are now working happily in meaningful careers. These include those with severe family difficulties like absent parents (through death or leaving the family), alcoholic parents, parents who have never worked or where the young people are their parents’ carers, amongst many other issues. Many of these young people have developed experience that was largely absent in their families, including ‘soft’ skills such as networking, which has led to them being ‘poached’ to different parts of companies because of their positive reputation. They have also become great ambassadors for others in a similar position to that which they were in prior to entering work.

  1. What are the barriers to greater in-work training and skills development for all generations?

Barriers include failing to employ young people who can learn the skills that UK needs in the first place. They also include cutting costs so that either no training or ineffective training is provided, which can affect all generations.

  1. To what extent is intergenerational fairness impaired by the UK housing market?

N/A

  1. What has driven the increase in the size of the private rented sector? Which generations are most affected by this and how?

N/A

  1. How can we ensure that the planning system provides for properties appropriate for all generations, including older people?

N/A

  1. How can the property wealth of older generations (parents and grandparents) be utilised to help younger generations (their children and grandchildren) access the property market? What would be the impact on intra-generational fairness of such schemes?

N/A

  1. To what extent are initiatives to encourage down-sizing or intergenerational homesharing part of a viable solution to the housing shortage for younger generations?

N/A

  1. In what ways could more active communities help redress imbalances between generations? Are there opportunities for more non-state provided solutions to the challenges faced by an ageing society?

There are already examples of community groups helping younger people, for example, Rotary with interview skills, and charities that tackle specific issues around young people and employment such as the Prince’s Trust, alongside many others.

However, much more could be done to ensure that young people can gain workplace skills through ‘advice’ sessions and other schemes. But, above all, communities of any sort should attempt to be a conduit for providing work experience and other job opportunities for all their young people, not just those who already have support from families, schools and other institutions.

  1. To what extent are new technologies and social media isolating different generations from each other? How can technology be harnessed to promote active communities working to redress imbalances between generations?

Clearly social media is more commonly used by younger people, and when it is it is usually amongst their own peer groups. Indeed, social media sites become divided up between age groups, with Facebook seen as being for older people and Instagram for younger people, for example. All age groups should be encouraged to come together on social media to get advice from more experienced people and answers to specific questions. This already happens on LinkedIn to an extent but arguably for those young people already clued up on the workplace.

  1. To what extent does the tax system take account of fairness between the generations? What changes, if any, should be made to the tax system to achieve a fair intergenerational settlement?

N/A

  1. How does the Government’s practice of running public finances on a cash flow rather than on a balance sheet basis affect the intergenerational settlement?

N/A

Review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below in England

Principles – Purpose and necessity

6  How could we extend this clarity of purpose to all qualifications at level 3 and below so that the intended outcome for the student is clearer?

Please give reasons for your answer, including any examples of how this may be achieved.:

Movement to Work (MtW) is a registered charity and a voluntary coalition of Britain’s leading employers, backed by the TUC, CBI and UK Government. We are committed to providing high-quality work placements and other workplace opportunities for young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). We particularly seek to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

 

Over 100 UK employers have signed up to MtW, including the Civil Service and the NHS; FTSE 100 companies such as BT, Centrica, HSBC and M&S and other large private firms such as Accenture and numerous SMEs. Together, our members have delivered over 80,000 work placements over the last four years. Of those completing placements, over 50% have achieved a ‘positive outcome’ by going directly into employment, further education or training.

 

The Apprenticeship Levy is of significant concern to us: it should be focused on addressing dwindling level 2 and 3 apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship training, which both contribute towards social mobility. Three to four years ago, circa 99% of all apprenticeship starts were at level 2 and 3. That said, we should not be looking at the percentages but at the absolute number of opportunities available; the fact that there are more higher level apprenticeships is a good thing, the challenge is this should not be at the expense of the entry level opportunities. The number of apprentices at levels 2 and 3 has actually decreased, mainly due to large employers’ use of the levy on level 4-plus apprenticeships and SMEs, which used to provide most entry level apprenticeships, being squeezed out.

 

Actual level 2 and 3 starts, according to Government statistics, have been as follows:

 

o 15/16 488,640 o 16/17 460,350 o 17/18 327,120 o 18/19 183,000 (so far)

 

There is also a need for more funding to support those into apprenticeships who aren’t ready for immediate entry; the UK is suffering from a skills shortage, and we wholly agree that we must not simply import skills, yet many young of the UK’s young people who could be trained cannot find opportunities and are unemployed. There must be more incentives to train young people, we are hearing all too often that companies are concentrating on further training for older employees, even using Levy money to fund MBAs.

 

There is Government funding for traineeships but there are a range of problems here too: placements last too long, data reporting is onerous, operators of schemes need to be Ofsted-registered and requirements for maths and English qualifications would rule out many of the young people we want to support. And if a trainee leaves a scheme for a job during training, which is an objective for a trainee, the training body is penalised. At MtW we have seen so many, from really challenging backgrounds, do so well when given a chance in the workplace, and from whom employers and society have gained so much benefit. Traineeship numbers are too low and some training companies have even stopped providing them at all. These are all contributory factors to poor social mobility in the UK.

 

Maths and English qualifications required by employers are also holding back some young people, who would perform well in the workplace despite lacking these qualifications. There is money available to help fund maths and English qualifications, but few know how to access this.

 

We are of course aware of the T-Level programme and whilst its intentions are laudable, the demands on employers for work placements will make it even more difficult for those in the most difficult situations to gain placements. Most do not have the support of families or other networks but as I’ve already said, when they are seen in the workplace, the turn-around can be quite incredible. More must be done to support these young people, not just for them, but for society.

 

We agree that employers are concerned about the skills of school and college leavers. We know that this has been the case for the last 30 years at least. We are also concerned that employers and young people are still telling us that careers advice in is still very poor.

Principles – Purpose and necessity

7  Are standalone qualifications in personal, social and employability skills necessary?

No

Please give reasons for your answer and tell us if there are other changes we should explore to support these skills being delivered in other ways. Please make clear if your answer varies in relation to different student groups, such as adults or those with SEND.:

These should be part of ‘subject’ qualifications in that all studies should lead to the development of employability skills. There might be a value in mechanisms that can support the signalling of employability skills, but a formal qualification is unlikely to be the right answer. A common conceptual framework for these skills would be helpful (see Skillsbuilder in the following answer).

There is more to building employability skills than just developing them through the ‘school of life’ or just in the classroom. There needs to be time spent to directly teaching some elements (eg, roles in a team, leadership styles, decision trees, etc). There should also be time to reflect on the use of those skills too. We all use employability skills every day but we rarely improve them without a dedicated focus.

The Gatsby Benchmarks is proving to be an effective way to enable schools and colleges to create and execute a strategic and integrated careers plan, starting from year 7. We welcome the Government putting the Gatsby Benchmarks at the heart of the Careers Strategy and the fact that schools and colleges are engaging with it nationally is progress, but there is a long way to go. The principles should apply to all young people, not just those still at school.

Employers and students have said for many years that skills directly applicable to the workplace are missing from curricula, and young people are generally unprepared for the workplace. Those with SEND will have skills and qualities, sometimes unique to them, that are invaluable in the workplace. We should have a universal approach to ensuring all young people are prepared for the world of work. The CEC and Gatsby are doing work to make sure the benchmarks can be interpreted appropriately for SEND schools. See https://www.gatsby.org.uk/uploads/education/send-joint-statement.pdf for further details.

Another reason we rarely see employability skills being developed is the absence of a common language to describe them. Without that, it is remarkably difficult for there to be any consistent progress made towards building these skills across different educators, employers, charities or training providers. We believe the Skills Builder Framework, developed by the Skills Builder Partnership, is a useful reference here because of its definitive and consistent language. This approach should be adopted throughout the education system. The Framework comprises eight essential skills:

  • listening
  • presenting
  • problem solving
  • creativity
  • staying positive
  • aiming high
  • leadership• teamwork.

It is used with children and young people to clarify what success looks like in each skill and to map out the trajectory for proficiency. It has also been adapted for young people with SEND.

Principles – Progression

8  What additional evidence or data could we use to determine whether current qualifications or types of qualifications, including Applied General qualifications, are delivering successful outcomes?

Please give your answer below.:

We should ask employers and young people about their qualifications and where they have led them. We have done this to a certain extent at Movement to Work, at round-table discussions where young people and senior executives discuss the issues that have excluded them from the workplace.

We should look at longer term outcomes as than simply qualifications results. The outcome we are aiming for is that all learners are contributors to society. We should track their outcomes into employment and employment progression. Qualifications results are just a milestone.

Principles – Progression

9  How could we better use data about student outcomes to monitor and assess the success of future qualifications?

Please give your answer below.:

The data should be used to directly inform the value of qualifications. For example, to test whether those qualifications helped young people to get jobs and how useful they were once in the workplace.

Principles – Quality

10  Are the quality features listed under paragraph 55 the right starting point for framing future quality requirements for publicly funded qualifications?

Not Answered

Please give reasons for your answer. :

Employer involvement is particularly important but only seems to be applied to tech qualifications here. Skills valued by employers don’t just apply to technical roles.

Principles – Quality

11  Are there certain quality features, such as size (that is, number of guided learning hours) or assessment processes that should be given particular priority?

Not Answered

Please give reasons for your answer and if yes, please state which features should be a priority.:

See previous answer.

Principles – Quality

12  Are there particular quality principles that we should consider for adults?

Not Answered

Please give reasons for your answer. :

We are concerned with young people who are NEET. All qualifications should be aimed at helping to develop employability skills, and specific skills that employers need. There should be provision to support those for whom the structured learning environment doesn’t work. An offer to fast track those who are disenfranchised by education at 16 to bring them into the workplace and allow them to learn in situ. This is especially important for groups such as care leavers, youth offenders and those from deprived communities where educational attainment and attendance is lower.

Applying our principles – Our broader ambitions

13  At level 3, what purposes should qualifications other than T Levels or A Levels serve:

  1. for 16 to 19 year olds? Please give reasons for your answer. :

N/A

  1. for adults? Please give reasons for your answer.:N/A

Applying our principles – Our broader ambitions

14  How should we determine “overlap” in relation to:

  1. overlaps with T Levels? Please give reasons for your answer.:

N/A

  1. overlaps with A Levels? Please give reasons for your answer.:N/A

Applying our principles – Our broader ambitions

15  How could post-16 qualification reform and broader study best support more people to progress directly to level 3 after key stage 4?

Please give your answer below. :

Study and qualifications are not the only issues. Movement to Work knows that there is a deep concern over the ability of schools to provide careers guidance, and this has been the case for many years. Young people have told us they did not get good careers support and many schools were not supported to do this well. There is some evidence of this starting to change with support through the Careers Strategy but it is early days. The Government must continue to invest in this (see https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/news/backing-success) but we are starting from a low base so there is still a long road ahead

Applying our principles – Our broader ambitions

16  How could post-16 qualification reform and broader study best support more people to achieve at level 3?

Please give your answer below.: N/A

Applying our principles – Our broader ambitions

17  If level 2 qualifications are intended to lead directly to employment, what quality principles should apply?

Please give reasons for your answer including any examples of good practice.:

Quality principles should focus on the usefulness of the qualification to the young person and employers.

Applying our principles – Our broader ambitions

18  What are the key roles that qualifications at level 1 and below need to play?

Please give your answer below.:

Usefulness to employers in terms of specific skills and general employability skills.

Applying our principles – Our broader ambitions

19  Are there additional principles we should apply to level 1 and below?

Not Answered

Please give your reasons for your answer, indicating clearly where it refers to the qualifications themselves or broader study.:

N/A.

Securing early progress – Pre-existing qualifications

20  Are there any additional equality impacts of withdrawing approval for funding for pre-existing qualifications that are not included in the equality impact assessment published alongside this consultation?

Not Answered

Please give reasons and any supporting evidence for your answer.: N/A

Securing early progress – Qualifications with no enrollments

  • Do you agree with the proposed criteria for identifying qualifications with no enrolments?

Not Answered

Please give reasons for your answer.:

N/A.

  • Are there specific reasons that a qualification with no enrolments should remain approved for funding?

Not Answered

Please give reasons for your answer.:

N/A.

Securing early progress – Qualifications with low enrollments

  • Do you agree we should consider removing approval for funding from qualifications with low enrolments?

Not Answered

Please give reasons for your answer.:

N/A.

  • Are there specific reasons that a qualification with low enrolments should remain approved for funding?

Not Answered

Please give reasons for your answer.:

N/A.

Shaping the next stages of the review – General and equalities impact assessments

25  Do you have any comments regarding the potential impact the principles and other features outlined in this consultation may have on students from disadvantaged backgrounds, those with SEND, or others with a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010?

Please give reasons for your answer.:

Those with SEND are amongst the young people MtW works with. We would ask that their needs be considered. There is a prejudice about these young people, yet most would make loyal employees with great skills. And some, for example, with autism bring unique skills to the workplace as identified by IT firms like Auticon (www.auticon.co.uk) which employs exclusively people with autism because of their exceptional IT abilities.

We would ask that the Government helps ensure that employers see the value of employing these young people and support our work on providing placements for them.

There is a tendency for work placement provision and employer engagement (in schools) to be better in higher performing schools or those with more resource.

We want to see the balance addressed in T-Levels so those in schools in more deprived areas will have the same access to opportunities.

Shaping the next stages of the review – General and equalities impact assessments

26  Are there any additional impacts that you think should be included in the general impact assessment in our second stage consultation?

Not Answered

Please give details of any additional impacts below.:

N/A.

For further information, please contact: Maria O’Connor, Government Relations, Movement to Work

E: [email protected]