FindingEmploymentand Educationfor Young PeopleA Discovery FrameworkBenedict Dellot,Julian Thompsonand Gerard DarbyDecember...
ContentsAbout the Interactivism Challenge       3About the Discovery Framework       41 // Context    62 // Challenge Ques...
The RSA inpartnership with2
About the Interactivism ChallengeAmidst acute concern for the welfare      opportunities that are right for them.and futur...
About theDiscoveryFrameworkThis paper outlines the beginnings of a        In order to build the Framework we       princip...
1 // ConTexT                               2 // Challenge QuesTion                    3 // Barriers4 // inspiraTions      ...
1 // Context               Despite having recently emerged from         in education, employment or training.             ...
opposed to 27 per cent of the wider       education authorities to cooperate with      •	 Funding 24 new university techni...
2 // Challenge QuesTion2 // ChallengeQuestion    against this backdrop, we have set the following Challenge Question for p...
3 // Barriers                In answering the Challenge Question, we       to emerge from their research is that          ...
critical factor in hampering young peo­     attending our roundtable emphasised          its suitability, and are consider...
4 // Inspirations                    Before considering how these barriers          CV writing and interviews. Since their...
work is particularly focused on those        already NEET; and providing a good     Box 1 // Findings from the            ...
be based in London and not be in             •	 South West College worked with                 24. See www.princes­trust.o...
5 // DesignPrinciples                         Based on the common characteristics         to provide a single point of acc...
Make it personal                               personal interaction and shared activi­  Box 2 // Brainstorm with          ...
6 // FraMework MaTrix6 // FrameworkMatrix16
Framework MatrixThe final stage of developing the                         the Inverness Training Hotel emphasises         ...
About the RSAThe rsa has been a source of ideas, innovationand civic enterprise for over 250 years. In thelight of new cha...
The Royal Society for the encouragementof Arts, Manufactures and Commerce8 John Adam StreetLondon WC2N 6EZ+44 (0)20 7930 5...
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Finding employment and education discovery framework


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The RSA's "Finding Employment and Education Discovery Framework" maps out some of the barriers and solutions to helping young people get into the education, employment and training that is right for them through their discovery matrix.

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Finding employment and education discovery framework

  1. 1. FindingEmploymentand Educationfor Young PeopleA Discovery FrameworkBenedict Dellot,Julian Thompsonand Gerard DarbyDecember 2011
  2. 2. ContentsAbout the Interactivism Challenge 3About the Discovery Framework 41 // Context 62 // Challenge Question 83 // Barriers 94 // Inspirations 115 // Design Principles 146 // Framework Matrix 16 Finding Employment and Education for Young People: A Discovery Framework 1
  3. 3. The RSA inpartnership with2
  4. 4. About the Interactivism ChallengeAmidst acute concern for the welfare opportunities that are right for them.and future of young people classed as This is the latest in Google’s series of“NEET”1 in UK society, policymakers ‘Interactivism’ Challenges, designed toare eagerly searching for innovative harness the power of technology forapproaches to improve their prospects. social good. In running this Challenge,Although concerns have recently Google is working in partnership withbeen raised about the negative role the RSA, FutureGov and Livity.internet and social media can play in Participants will be asked to submitthe lives of disengaged young people, their ideas to the Challenge from earlythere has been little to balance this December 2011 until late Januaryaccount with illustrations of how it 2012. Those shortlisted will then becan help them reconnect with society, invited to an intensive ‘Hackathon’motivate themselves and improve event where they will work with Googletheir life chances through education software engineers to turn their ideaand employment. into a working software prototype. Against this backdrop, Google In order to help the Challengehas unveiled a new Challenge, participants identify a new idea,asking people of all backgrounds – this ‘Discovery Framework’ documentsoftware developers, young people, summaries some of what we know aboutprofessional practitioners, teachers the problem and opportunities facingand policymakers of all levels – to young people, and what has alreadyput forward innovative ideas for how worked well in supporting them.the internet and technology couldsupport young people. These wouldbe geared towards directing, inspiring, 1. NEET refers to young people who arepersuading or enabling young people to not in any form of education, employment or training.access the education, jobs, or training Finding Employment and Education for Young People: A Discovery Framework 3
  5. 5. About theDiscoveryFrameworkThis paper outlines the beginnings of a In order to build the Framework we principles are being used, this table‘Discovery Framework’ which will aid par­ follow a given process: can then be used to identify new areasticipants in the Interactivism Challenge. 1. Describe the context, in terms of a of opportunity The Discovery Framework social issue or problem that is being The strength of the Discoverymethod was created and honed over tackled Framework lies in its ability to examinethree decades by Ashoka, an internation­ 2. Outline a Challenge Question which potential solutions in the context ofal network of social entrepreneurs who summarises the goal multiple barriers and other existingwork together to solve some of the 3. Identify the core barriers which are initiatives. It encourages users toworld’s most intractable problems.2 hampering efforts to find a solution systematically identify and analyseIn order to assist the generation of to that goal each, and clearly indicates where sol­original and useful ideas, the Framework 4. Pull together ‘inspirations’; exemplar utions might be better targeted andis designed to help people better under­ initiatives already working to over­ which design principles could be betterstand the dimensions of a given problem come these barriers employed. The Framework also benefitsand its likely causes, as well as the 5. Draw out common design from placing a strong emphasis on exem­factors that may be common to effec­ principles which have proven plar initiatives. This allows those usingtive solutions. The approach results in instrumental in addressing the it to draw upon the valuable insights ofa Framework ‘Matrix’ diagram which Challenge social innovators who have first­handproblem­solvers can use to identify 6. Create a Framework Matrix. experience in tackling these issues.gaps in existing approaches, and find For this Google Interactivismopportunities for social innovation. The This provides an overview of the Challenge, the task will be for partici­aim is to prompt what Ashoka call the design principles different initiatives pants to use this Framework to find an“a­ha” moment of recognition, in which are using to overcome particular bar­ area where a new use of web technologya person pairs a powerful idea with riers. Depending on which barriers might be able to add value in supportinga currently unmet need. are being addressed and which design young people. We have developed4
  6. 6. 1 // ConTexT 2 // Challenge QuesTion 3 // Barriers4 // inspiraTions 5 // Design prinCiples 6 // FraMework MaTrixan indicative Framework for this of this Challenge is such that we do 2. For another example of how theparticular Challenge, based on a mixture not expect this to be a comprehensive Discovery Framework has been used, seeof desk research and correspondence account of what prevents and what C. Brown et al. Leveraging Business for Social Change. Available: www.changemakers.with leading stakeholders, as well enables young people to achieve their com/sites/default/files/Artemisia_Discovery_as a focus group with young people potential. framework_Pre_competition_April_2010.pdfand a roundtable with those working in The rest of this paper will dedicatedthis field. While we have attempted to to guiding you through each stage of thebe thorough in our research, the scope Framework. Finding Employment and Education for Young People: A Discovery Framework 5
  7. 7. 1 // Context Despite having recently emerged from in education, employment or training. one of the deepest recessions in living Therefore for accuracy we will occasion­ memory, the combination of a fragile ally refer to the term throughout the economic recovery and a significant document. programme of public sector spending Some key statistics highlight the cuts has ensured that the experience various challenges young people face: of austerity continues for many people • Estimates suggest that the cost of across the country. Among those most supporting young people not in affected by these financial difficulties education, employment or training are the rising numbers of young people amounts to as much as £4.6 billion who are not in any form of education, a year 4 employment or training. According to • The probability of a graduate the latest figures from the Department becoming unemployed is 10 per cent, for Education, nearly 20 per cent of whereas the chance of somebody 18–24 year olds are classified as “NEET” with lower than level 3 qualifications and over 1 million young people (A levels, NVQs etc.) becoming are unemployed.3 unemployed is 30 per cent 5 Throughout this paper we will draw • Research suggests that one in five upon the term NEET to describe young young people classed as NEET people currently in some form of eco­ think that life is not worth living, nomic or social hardship. While we do compared to one in ten of the not want to rely too heavily on the term, general population. 37 per cent of1 // ConTexT many of the figures and papers which we young people in this situation claim reference are applicable only to those not to be often or always depressed as6
  8. 8. opposed to 27 per cent of the wider education authorities to cooperate with • Funding 24 new university technical younger population local partners in delivering education colleges for 14–18 year olds, special­• One study found that 69 per cent6 and training services to 14–19 year ising in technical skills such as of young people not in education, olds; and the creation of a right to an engineering and construction. employment or training believe their apprenticeship for suitably qualified These will be run as academies talent is being thrown away, while one 16–19 year olds. in five abuse alcohol and just over one The Government has also very re­ in ten take drugs7 educational Maintenance allowance cently launched a new ‘Youth Contract’,• The Department for Education and activity agreements – In a bid to whereby a proportion of employers’ reports that NEET young people encourage more young people to stay costs for taking on young people will be are more than twice as likely to live on in education, the EMA was intro­ subsidised by the state. From April 2012, in social sector accommodation as duced by the last government to provide this will aim to provide 400,000 young the average young person8 financial assistance (£20 – £30 per week) people with employment, work experi­ to young people facing economic hard­ ence or apprenticeship opportunities. ship. A similar initiative was the Activ­ ity Agreement programme which gave Estimated per year cost 3. Department for Education. NEET Stat­ a financial incentive for young people £4.6 billion to participate in activities which would istics – Quarterly Brief (DfE, 24th November 2011). assist them as they search for suitable employment or learning. 4. S. Sodha & J. Margo. Ex Curricula (London: Demos, 2010). on supporting young people 5. The Guardian. Half of pupils are be­ not in education, employment Future Jobs Fund – The FJF was a ing consigned ‘to the scrapheap’ by schools or training £1 billion scheme set up by the previous (The Guardian, 13th March 2011). government to support young people 6. R. Davis. Making life worth living back into work. Businesses were paid up (The Guardian, 5th January 2009). to £6,500 to create jobs which would last 7. FutureYou. FutureYou: A Wasted Genera­ In a bid to address many of these at least 6 months. The scheme finished in tion (FutureYou, 2011).challenges and assist the life chances March 2011 and was replaced by the cur­ 8. Department for Children, Schools andof young people, governments past and rent Government’s new work experience Families report cited in R. Davis. Op cit. 2011.present have designed and implemented programme (see below). 9. The Centre for Social Justice andvarious policies. Below details some of the Local Government Association.the most prominent which have emerged Current Coalition plans – Published Hidden Talents: Re­engaging young people.over recent years: in May this year, the Government’s ‘Sup­ (London: LGA, 2009). porting Youth Unemployment’ strategy 10. Ibid.The national neeTs strategy, 20089 paper has listed a number of proposals 11. The Cabinet Office. Supporting Youth– This National Strategy transferred the to support young people. This paper Employment: An overview of the Coalition Government’s approach (London: The Cabinetlead role for reducing the numbers of includes the following commitments:11 Office, 2011). Available: people not in education, employ­ • Funding for 250,000 more apprentice­ uk/wp­content/uploads/2011/09/support­ment or training to local authorities. The ships over the next four years youth­employment.pdfStrategy included plans for the introduc­ • Funding for 100,000 work placementstion of a rigorous tracking and ‘destina­ over the next two years. Through thistion monitoring’ process; the reform of ‘work experience programme’, 18–21the qualifications framework to ensure year olds are matched with employersa greater number of diverse and flex­ and work unpaid for up to 8 weeks,ible courses; personalised guidance and while continuing to receive theirsupport for young people; and financial benefitsincentives to encourage the take up of • Implementing many of the recom­further education. mendations in the Wolf review of vocational learning. This includesThe education and skills act 2008 ensuring that young people continueand the apprenticeships, skills learning Maths and English to age 19and learning act 200910 – these acts until they achieve a good qualificationenshrined many of the above plans in those subjectsinto law. The act included a duty on all • Establishing a £10m per annumyoung people in England to participate Innovation Fund to help deliveryin education and training until the age organisations experiment withof 18; the transfer of responsibility for innovative ways of helping youngdelivering Connexions services to local people not in education, employmentauthorities; a requirement for local or training Finding Employment and Education for Young People: A Discovery Framework 7
  9. 9. 2 // Challenge QuesTion2 // ChallengeQuestion against this backdrop, we have set the following Challenge Question for participants: “How can we better harness the web to help young people get the work, education or training that is right for them?”8
  10. 10. 3 // Barriers In answering the Challenge Question, we to emerge from their research is that must first look at the barriers preventing many of the vocational qualifications young people from achieving significant that young people are encouraged to and sustained employment, education aim for turn out to be of little value in and training. What follows is a list of the providing them with the skills they need most prominent obstacles facing young to be work­ready. Other research has people. While we acknowledge that one shown that vocational qualifications of the main barriers to employment is often fail to develop practical talents the fragile economic climate and scarcity because there is no clear progression of long­term job opportunities, this is route from one vocational qualification to a large extent a major structural issue to the next. Added to this, many young which we believe is beyond the scope of people fare poorly in the core subjects what Challenge participants would be of English and Maths early on in their able to address. education. In England, for instance, 8% of children leave primary school A lack of hard and soft skills with very low levels of literacy and/or needed for employment numeracy.13 According to an influential report From the experts and practitioners by Demos, The Forgotten Half, some we have already spoken to, there is also secondary schools routinely neglect a general sense that young people are pupils with vocational aspirations, not acquiring the right ‘soft skills’ neces­ have poor links with businesses and sary to find sustained employment. For3 // Barriers undervalue the importance of part­ instance, an attendee from the Challenge time work.12 One of the key findings roundtable suggested that the most Finding Employment and Education for Young People: A Discovery Framework 9
  11. 11. critical factor in hampering young peo­ attending our roundtable emphasised its suitability, and are considered tople’s progress is their poor communica­ the damage that “psychological barri­ be uncaring, intimidating and drivention skills. The young people who we ers” such as these can play in damaging by targets.19spoke to at Livity emphasised how im­ the life chances of young people. The young people we spoke toportant certain adult mentors (informal Evidence from government surveys at Livity had mixed feelings aboutand formal) had been in helping them suggests that staying­on in education or Connexions, with some praising theiracquire these soft skills. finding a job is heavily influenced by the assistance and others feeling that circumstances of family and parents. the support service was too focusedPatchy experiences and It is concerning then that a Centre for on achieving targets. Of bigger con­relationships with formal Social Justice report describes 26 per cern to these young people is the lackauthorities cent of NEETs to be living in a house­ of feedback from the many job applica­A few of the young people at Livity hold where no one is working.16 Young tions they had sent off. They said thisdescribed a history of poor relationships people also experience little in the way left them feeling despondent and unablewith their teachers, with many claiming of inspiring messages from outside their to see where they could improve.that they were prone to being disparag­ circle of family and friends. The younging about their abilities and future job people we spoke to at Livity saw the me­ Poor coordination betweenprospects. Some teachers had explicitly dia portrayal of their peers as too heav­ local services supportingtold them that they would “not achieve ily critical. They also thought that young young peopleanything in life”, although a number of people were presented with too many Many strategies for addressing thethe young people suggested that their materialistic messages, giving them NEET in local areas have been ham­own behaviour in school had been the the wrong kind of aspirations. pered by poor relationships betweencause of these bad relations. Such poor key stakeholders. Demos, for instance,relationships have only served to amplify found that many schools have poor 25%existing problems of poor engagement links with local businesses, meaningand progress at school. that young people miss out on beneficial work experience.20 Jobcentres have alsoThe high cost of higher been known to refuse to refer youngand further education of those from unemployed people to the innovativeAccording to the OECD, afterincreasing tuition fees to a maximum deprived homes training courses of new organisations, in part because they were not a preferredof £9,000 we now have the third highest believe that “few” or “none” of or a pre­paid supplier.21university tuition fees in the developed their career goals are achievableworld.13 Despite the availability offinancial assistance for those on low 12. J. Birdwell, M. Grist and J. Margo.incomes, many young people from The Forgotten Half (London: Demos, 2011).deprived backgrounds will inevitably A lack of mentors, 13. put off by this increase. At the personalised career 14. OECD. Education at a Glance 2011:same time, there is a growing sense guidance and feedback Highlights (OECD, 2011). Available: www. the value of a university degree is Careers services, including Connexions, 15. The Prince’s Trust. Broke, Not Broken:becoming diluted as greater numbers have faced a considerable funding Tackling youth poverty and the aspiration gapof people attend universities. Our squeeze over the past 12 months and (The Prince’s Trust, 2011).young people also identified the cost will continue to do so for some time. 16. The Centre for Social Justice and theof retaking GCSEs and the removal of A study by the Institute of Career Local Government Association. Op cit. 2009.EMA support as key factors in deterring Guidance found half of its members’ 17. Institute of Career Guidance. Uncer­others like them from continuing employers had made redundancies or tain Futures: The impact of cuts to the careersin education. issued “at risk” notices.17 This will service on the futures of young people (ICG, put increasing pressure on an already 2011).Low or unrealistic aspirations fragile and limited provision of careers 18. City & Guilds Centre for Skills Develop­and fragile self-confidence support; a quarter of teenagers already ment. New Directions: Young people’s andThe Prince’s Trust report, Broke, not say that they have never received any parents’ views of vocational education and careers guidance (C&G, 2011).Broken, found that 25 per cent of those careers advice.18 Of those services 19. Children and Young People Now. Neetfrom deprived homes believe that “few” that stay, the concern is that many strategy not fit for purpose (CYPN, 9th Marchor “none” of their career goals are will continue to direct young people 2010).achievable, as opposed to just 7 per cent to jobs and other opportunities which 20. J. Birdwell, M. Grist and J. Margo.of those from more affluent families.15 they are not suited to or interested in. Op cit. 2011.What is more, one in six of those from Research by Children and Young People 21. See for example CDI Europe. [Blog].poor homes say their family and friends Now found that some Jobcentre Plus From NEETs to schools: a shift in channelshave made fun of them when they talk advisers put pressure on young people (18th April 2011). Available: http://cdieurope.about finding a good job. Many of those to apply for any vacancy regardless of eu/2011/04/18/neets­schools­shift­channels/10
  12. 12. 4 // Inspirations Before considering how these barriers CV writing and interviews. Since their might be overcome, it is important to launch in 2010, they have helped a third examine existing and past responses of their members find work and employ­ to these challenges. Below we outline a ment and 85 per cent of them have felt selection of inspiring initiatives currently more positive about the future. working to improve the prospects of young people across the country. These inverness Training hotel – Due to open are a mixture of social enterprises, in 2014 with the support of the Calman charities, local government schemes, Trust, the Inverness Training Hotel will technological innovations and business be a social enterprise geared towards initiatives. providing on­the­job hospitality training to disadvantaged youngsters, while still FutureYou – FutureYou is an online retaining a profit­making element.23 The support service offering advice to 14–25 hotel, loosely based on Rotterdam’s Art year olds. Young people can use the Fu­ & Woonhotel, is intended to be like any tureYou website to talk in real time with other four­star accommodation but with either trained counsellors or with other specially designed kitchens and training young people who have recently experi­ workshops for young people. enced, or are still experiencing, similar issues.22 FutureYou provides training and The prince’s Trust – Through a number accreditation to anybody aged 14+ wish­ of programmes taking place across the ing to sign up as a mentor. The website UK, The Prince’s Trust aims to support4 // inspiraTions also contains a Virtual Library of useful NEET young people get back into em­ resources, for instance guidance on ployment, education or training.24 Their Finding Employment and Education for Young People: A Discovery Framework 11
  13. 13. work is particularly focused on those already NEET; and providing a good Box 1 // Findings from the who are struggling in school, are in or quality IAG service. Their initiatives Challenge Roundtable leaving care, are long­term unemployed included creating an online 14–19 In order to both build momentum for and who have been in trouble with the prospectus and forming partnership the Challenge and to test the credibility law. Their activities include: agreements and progression targets for of the Framework, we presented this • The Team Programme – a 12­week schools and Connexions. They also document to a selection of policymak- personal development course, de­ established ‘Ambition Barnsley’, a careers ers, social entrepreneurs, leading lights signed to help young people uncover fair based around diplomas, and have in the business community and young hidden talents, take responsibility implemented a red/amber/green (RAG) people at a roundtable event in Novem- for tasks, develop team­working and rating for year 11 students. ber 2011. These experienced stake- communication skills, gain aware­ holders were provided with an oppor- ness of their local community and The Yard project, lowestoft – The Yard tunity to reflect and comment on the content of the Framework, particularly gain recognised qualifications. Young Project is a Community Interest Com­ the barriers and the design principles people join a team of up to 15 par­ pany which took over a derelict builder’s that any new initiative supporting young ticipants, comprising around 12 yard and, with the help of young peo­ people should bear in mind. The rich set unemployed people and one or two ple, transformed it into a community of insights that were raised throughout employed people sponsored by their resource.26 Key to the project was the the discussion can be distilled into five employers. Team members are en­ involvement of the local community overarching recommendations for par- couraged to think about their futures and the emphasis on sharing skills and ticipants in the Challenge: and prepare a post­programme devel­ expertise between the three generations 1. Follow a holistic approach which opment plan. More than 70 per cent of trainees involved in the building work. takes into account the specific of participants go on to jobs, training needs of young people and their or education within 3 months. life journeys • Get Started – short courses run by More than 70% 2. Recognise the value in offline face- professional tutors which use sport, to-face support for young people music and the creative arts to increase and try and dovetail any new online confidence, skills and employability. interventions with existing initiatives Participants undertake a minimum of working on the ground 5 days group activity, culminating in a of Prince’s Trust participants 3. Get beyond a deficit model and final challenge or celebration bringing go on to jobs, training or stress the strengths of young peo- ple, what they are good at and what together the skills they have learnt. education within 3 months • Get Into – short courses develop­ they can achieve ing young people’s skills in a specific 4. Create opportunities for relation- sector, from construction to hospital­ ships to be fostered, such as those between young people who find ity. Sectors are chosen according to project 17, hounslow – Launched in themselves in different circum- regional employment needs. Courses 2008, the Project 17 scheme involves stances and those between young vary from 2–6 weeks and contain youth workers in Hounslow visiting the people and businesses (particularly a mixture of practical training and homes of individuals who have been SMEs and big brands) experience. listed as NEET or ‘unknowns’ by the lo­ 5. Appreciate the value of personal • The Enterprise Programme – sup­ cal Connexions service.27 These mainly connections between young peo- ports young people interested in self part­time workers offer emotional sup­ ple and those supporting them, employment to test their ideas, write port, help write CVs, accompany young whether that is an inspiring teacher plans and start their own businesses. people to appointments, keep track of or a motivational key worker • Community Cash Awards – up to their progress and build relationships £3,000 is awarded to young people with anxious parents. The scheme led Towards the end of the discussion, to design projects that will benefit to a 3.9% reduction in the numbers of we also asked attendees to think of the local community. NEET young people in its first two years any innovative ideas that might set and a dramatic reduction in the number the ball rolling for the Challenge. The Barnsley neeT strategy – Barnsley of ‘unknowns’. suggestions that were raised include: a local authority won an award for their professional networking website akin strategy to address its significantly The Bright ideas Trust – The Bright to a youth LinkedIn; an app that enables high levels of youth unemployment.25 Ideas Trust invests in young people’s young people to gain points which can They singled out partnership working ideas by loaning them at least £5,000 then be traded for something which will as key to their success, as well as to help cover the costs of setting up a support them into suitable employment their adherence to five key priorities business.28 Loan repayments are fed back or training; and an app which allows for delivering their strategy: effective into the charity’s operations. The Trust friends to highlight one another’s quali- ties and skills through social media plat- tracking and sharing of information; also offers advice and mentoring to turn forms such as Facebook and Google+. prevention; provision of training and business ideas into real ventures. App­ learning; working with young people licants have to be between 16 and 30,12
  14. 14. be based in London and not be in • South West College worked with 24. See www.princes­, employment or training. Astute Labs to produce an app which 25. Centre for Social Justice and the Local enables users to find training using ‘de­ Government Association. Op cit. 2009.Young researchers network – cision pathways’. By answering a series 26. Ibid.The National Youth Agency provided of simple multiple choice questions the 27. See grants to Nottingham City application will lead the user to a pro­ vlpdetails.aspx?lpeid=306Council, Hertsmere Borough Council gramme which suits their specific needs. 28. See Swindon Borough Council to recruit 29. See­youth­and train young people as co­researchers The Mobile learning network support­services/young­researcher­networklooking into the effectiveness of youth (MoleneT) – MoLeNET aims to 30. See www.virtual­ and NEET programmes.29 introduce and support mobile learning newsitem.aspx?id=c57Hertsmere used the funding to establish in education and training by using new 31. See young researchers group who work technologies.32 One particular project in 32. See borough officials to develop Accrington and Rossendale College used 33. See design youth services. group text reminders to keep in touch with students, to motivate them and toVirtual College – Virtual College, ensure that they turned up to classes. Oth­based in Ilkley, has recently launched er colleges involved in the projects notedan initiative offering free e­learning that the mobile technologies made themcourses to young people not in edu­ feel more part of the college community .cation, employment or training.30 Thesuite of 6 free interactive and internet­ – aims to bebased courses will provide learners the first place all young adults turn towith the knowledge to know where to when they need support and guidance.33look for job opportunities; to know All information and advice is intendedhow to complete an application form; to be impartial, allowing people toand to understand how to climb the make their own decisions. The websitecareer ladder. For young people these provides factsheets and articles on key is­free courses offer a means of accessing sues facing young people, including: sextraining at their pace and are a likely and relationships; drinking and drugs;route to more in­depth training. work and study; housing; legal issues and finances; and health and wellbeing.headliners uk – Headliners is a charity also have a peer­to­peer sup­which aims to inspire and encourage the port system where young people can pro­personal development of young people vide advice to one another.through journalism. Young people aretrained to produce stories on issues noise – The national NOISE charityimportant to them for publication and increases the social mobility of youngbroadcast in national and local news­ people under 30, many of whom arepapers, magazines, television, radio and disadvantaged by physical, social andonline.31 Young people are involved in economic circumstances. Throughdecision making at every level and can, young people buildbecome trustees after the age of 18. creative portfolios, develop skills andIssues so far covered include gang wars, access professional networks. NoiseHIV/AIDs and size zero women. enables them to gain income from their creativity via a biennial Festival showcas­Calderdale & kirklees Careers and ing some of their best work, as well assouth west College apps – Two apps through events which take place in gal­have recently been developed to support leries across the UK. Among those pro­young people: moting and endorsing the young people’s• Calderdale & Kirklees Careers part­ submissions are Zaha Haid, Sir Norman nered up with app developer Looking Rosenthal and Badly Drawn Boy. Local to develop an app specifically targeting NEET young people. The app offers young people information about local job opportunities and also 22. See enables personal career advisors to ac­ 23. I. Grigor. Social enterprises tack­ cess information out of the office and ling youth unemployment (The Guardian, in other informal environments. 15th February 2011). Finding Employment and Education for Young People: A Discovery Framework 13
  15. 15. 5 // DesignPrinciples Based on the common characteristics to provide a single point of access for seen in the most successful initiatives young people, enable service providers supporting young people, we have as­ to easily share resources, prevent the sembled a list of key design principles duplication of efforts, and gear the which will help to inform further inter­ development of services to the needs ventions. These include: of young people, rather than the professional interests of those providing Highlight the potential them. One authority indicates that the The term “NEET” has a number of number of NEET young people dropped negative connotations and to an extent to the lowest level in five years after creates a barrier for young people in it­ it introduced a youth services ‘hub’, self. One of the clearest messages emerg­ where youth workers broker young ing from our roundtable discussion was people’s access to the services they that we should attempt to get beyond need, for instance housing information, the deficit model currently shaping both careers advice and news of training public opinion and policy initiatives. opportunities.34 Young people have a great deal of assets not found in the rest of the population Relationships matter and these should be drawn out and The ability of initiatives designed made visible. to raise the aspirations of NEETs are dependent on involving the Bring it all together whole of the community in their5 // Design prinCiples According to many accounts, integrating delivery, including parents, teachers local youth services together can help and businesses. The Engaging Youth14
  16. 16. Make it personal personal interaction and shared activi­ Box 2 // Brainstorm with Young people progress at different rates ties, and that provide information in a young people at Livity: and this should be reflected in any new clear and non­patronising way.39 It is implications for using models of support. The Centre for also important to recognise that young technology Social Justice has grouped NEET young people are not the ‘digital natives’ they Towards the end of our brainstorm people into three different categories ac­ are widely assumed to be, and that they with the young people from Livity, we cording to their attitudes: The Open to are more likely to use apps that contain discussed what role technology could Learning group who are positive about a social element than those that are play in supporting young people to get education and are likely to re­enter solely geared towards learning and work. the jobs, education or training that is training; the Sustained NEET group who The MoLeNET technology project fo­ right for them. When it was suggested have a low educational attainment and cused much of its attention on mobiles, that any new software might be avail- have had a poor experience at school; knowing that these were the devices able on a platform such as the iPhone, and the Undecided NEET group who that young people were more likely to they were quick to point out that few have little sense of what they intend to interact with. Likewise, the South West of their peers have smartphones. do.36 Initiatives should be flexible so that College app used simple questions on its They also said that even if they were young people can learn at their own pace app (‘decision pathways’) to direct young to have these phones, they were not and within different locations. As part people to the appropriate opportunities, sure that many were likely to download of this, we should also recognise that not rather than complex signposting. and use the app. When asked what we all training or employment is suitable for should bear in mind when developing web-based approaches to support- every individual. The Prince’s Trust and Stay the distance ing young people, they gave a number the Wolf report have already criticised A number of the experts and of suggestions: the current provision of vocational practitioners we have spoken to • Allow young people to personalise training in the UK,37 while Demos have pointed out that young people should their use of the technology argued that much of the training young be provided with on­going pastoral • Never try to be “down with the people are encouraged to aim for proves support and mentoring, even after they kids” in language or tone. It loses of little value in the end.38 They go so far have acquired employment, training or credibility as to recommend that schools actively education. Any new initiatives seeking • Always remember that the pro- discourage young people from taking up to help young people should consider gramme is about young people, low­level vocational qualifications. Ini­ including some element of befriending not adults tiatives supporting young people should and listening support, in addition to • Appeal to the mass market and use follow this lead and only direct them to providing information, advice and ‘guerrilla’ tactics to spread the word truly valuable education, employment careers guidance. and training opportunities.Enquiry pointed out the importance Create with, not just for 34. N. Crawley­Lyons. How bringing localof the ‘significant other’ in helping It is now widely assumed that public services together could slash youth unemploy­ ment (The Guardian, 6th September 2011).to re­engage people into education services can be made more effective andand training,35 while FutureYou have better tailored to the needs of users if 35. G. Hayward, S. Wilde and R. Williams. Engaging youth enquiry (Rathbone and Nuf­shown that young people want support they are co­produced alongside them. field Review, 2008).from people their age, their families and The Young Researchers Network in 36. Centre for Social Justice and the Localworking people they can take realistic Hertsmere demonstrates how young peo­ Government Association. Op cit. 2009.advice from. A young person at our ple can be directly involved in evaluat­ 37. A. Wolf. Review of Vocational Educa­Challenge roundtable event spoke of ing and subsequently making suggested tion – The Wolf Report (DfE, 2011).how having a close relationship with improvements to the youth services they 38. In their report, The Forgotten Half,their key worker gave that supportive access. Likewise, much can be learned Demos note how current vocational train­person greater leverage to challenge from innovative governance models such ing has three main problems: the lack of highthem. In addition, involving employers as that used by Headliners, where young quality vocational curricula that can combinein this kind of support will be critical people involved in the project are invited academic and practical learning with the needs of business; the lack of schools preparation forto ensuring that work experience to become trustees after the age of 18. post­16 vocational training opportunities; andprogrammes are made available and In terms of co­delivery, the peer­to­peer a herding of too many people into studyingthat training is better attuned to mentoring services seen on websites such for only low­level NVQ qualifications post­16local economic needs. Many of the as FutureYou have proven highly popular which have little value in the work place. Theystakeholders attending the roundtable with young people. strongly argue for training and teaching whichhighlighted that big brands can be develops core literacy and numeracy skills, andvaluable sources of support, given their Technology for all which use creative approaches to build ‘soft skills’ and ‘character capabilities’.traction with young people. Starbucks According to a Channel 4 report on UK 39. For more information see K. Royle.and Marks and Spencer’s, for example, ‘tribes’, young people have a preference The breadth and scope of computer games inalready provide opportunities to young for social media platforms that allow learning (University of Wolverhampton, 2010).people through The Prince’s Trust. them to belong to a group, that enable Finding Employment and Education for Young People: A Discovery Framework 15
  17. 17. 6 // FraMework MaTrix6 // FrameworkMatrix16
  18. 18. Framework MatrixThe final stage of developing the the Inverness Training Hotel emphasises young people, based on which barriersFramework is to construct a ‘Matrix’ the importance of co-producing and co- appear to be left unaddressed and whichpulling all of our findings together. The delivering services to build the skills of principles seem to be underemployed.Matrix enables us to see which design young people. For example, could a new solution bringprinciples different initiatives are using to The Matrix can be used to identify influential individuals into the mix toovercome particular barriers. We can see particular areas where a new use of overcome patchy relationships withfrom the below table, for instance, that technology might add value in supporting people in authority? principles highlight the Bring it all relationships Make it Create with, stay the Technology potential together matter personal not just for distance for all Barriers ? ? ? The prince’s The prince’s inverness MoleneTa lack of hard Trust ‘Team Trust Training technologyand soft skills programme’ ‘get into’ hotel project patchyexperienceswith formal authorities ? ? ? ? ? ? ?The high costof he and Fe ? ? ? ? ? ? Virtual College low ? ? ? ? ? ? The prince’saspirations / Trust self- ‘get started’ confidence a lack ? ? ? of mentors, south west careers project 17 FutureYou College appguidance and feedback poor ? ? ? ? ? Barnsley The Youngcoordination neeT researchers between strategy network services Finding Employment and Education for Young People: A Discovery Framework 17
  19. 19. About the RSAThe rsa has been a source of ideas, innovationand civic enterprise for over 250 years. In thelight of new challenges and opportunities forthe human race our purpose is to encourage thedevelopment of a principled, prosperous societyby identifying and releasing human potential.This is reflected in the organisation’s recentcommitment to the pursuit of what it calls21st century enlightenment.Through lectures, events, pamphlets andcommissions, the RSA provides a flow of richideas and inspiration for what might be realisedin a more enlightened world; essential to progressbut insufficient without action. RSA Projects aimto bridge this gap between thinking and action.We put our ideas to work for the common good.By researching, designing and testing new waysof living, we hope to foster a more inventive,resourceful and fulfilled society. Through ourFellowship of 27,000 people the RSA aimsto be a source of capacity, commitment andinnovation in communities from the globalto the local. Fellows are actively encouragedto engage and to develop local and issue-based initiatives.About the EnterpriseProgrammeThe 21st century calls for radical social andcommercial innovation, in a world charac-terised by explosive population growth, multipleresource pressures and fundamental challengesto our prevailing economic model. Globally,we cannot continue on our current economictrajectory without facing major systemic failures,whether natural, social or financial. The RSA isreviving its tradition of encouraging enterprisingresponses to such challenges through the newEnterprise Programme. Through research, openinnovation and prototyping we look for ways tohelp us adapt or innovate our way through thecentury ahead. By doing so we aim to create newkinds of wealth, employment and social value.For more information about the project,please go contact Julian Thompson,Director of Enterprise on:+44 (0)20 7451
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