UK: Specialist job coaches to help young people onto the jobs ladder

Thousands of young people will benefit from six-month intensive employment support packages as the Department for Work and Pensions recruits an extra 150 specialist Youth Employability Coaches across the UK.

Youth Employability Coaches are specially trained to support young jobseekers facing significant barriers to get on the first rung of the jobs ladder, such as young people without formal skills or qualifications.

For up to six months, young jobseekers will get intensive support and mentoring training as well as access to training, apprenticeship placements, suitable job opportunities, the Sector Based Work Academy Programme and the Kickstart Scheme. Support will even continue for six weeks after the young person has started work, to make sure they’re given help to settle into the role and find their feet.

Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP, said:

Many young people just need a chance to show what they’re capable of, but a lack of qualifications and experience can make it tough to get started.

These Youth Employability Work Coaches are vitally helping young people onto that first rung of the jobs ladder – setting them on track for a successful future. Our Plan for Jobs is getting people of all ages back into work as we push to build back better.

Adam Sharp, Work Coach Team Leader at Oldham Jobcentre, said:

Thanks to the recruitment of our new Youth Employability Coaches, we will be able to provide that intensive support to our vulnerable young people who need it most. No matter how complex the need, or significant the barrier, the Youth Employability Coaches will strive to support our most vulnerable, supporting them on every step of their journey into employment.

Jessica, who benefitted from the dedicated support of Youth Employability Coach Nichole, said:

I left school at 16 with no formal qualifications whatsoever, and have never worked or taken part in any work experience. Since working with my Coach Nichole for the past couple of months, I have been applying for jobs, looking at courses and trying to better myself.

Nichole has helped me every step of the way. I now have a laptop and a CV, which has lifted barriers which were stopping me from being able to look and apply for work. If it wasn’t for the time Nichole has put in to helping me and motivating me, I don’t think I’d be where I am now. I have a new sense of self achievement and I know now I can do whatever I set my mind to. All I needed was a chance and Nichole gave me one. I am so thankful for people like her.

Sam Windett, Director of Policy at Impetus, said:

With young people under 25 accounting for three in five of the jobs lost during the pandemic, the need for quality, joined up support couldn’t be more urgent.

Being out of work can have scarring effects, so investing in Youth Employability Coaches and Youth Hubs, together with specialists and local partners, is vital to offer the support young people need to succeed.

Along with employment support, the Coaches will also offer guidance on issues such as budgeting, debt management, and housing – helping break down barriers that can sometimes stop people from finding new opportunities. This can include attending appointments with support organisations, Local Authorities and other activities to meet the needs of the jobseeker.

The Youth Employability Coaches, located in jobcentres, are working alongside additional Work Coaches based in specialist Youth Hubs. Separate from jobcentres, these Hubs are co-located and delivered in partnership with external partners such as colleges, charities and local councils – providing access to more services in one location, and helping reach even more young jobseekers in the communities where they live.

Some Youth Hubs offer a drop-in service for all young people who need support to find work, including those not claiming Universal Credit.

The Youth Employability Coaches and Youth Hubs form just one part of the government’s multi-billion-pound Plan for Jobs aimed at protecting, supporting and creating jobs.

To help spearhead efforts to get Brits back in work the DWP has hired an additional 13,500 new Work Coaches meaning people of all ages can access bespoke support to fire up their job hunt. Later this year the new Restart Scheme will help over a million people who have been out of work for more than a year get back into work.