Youth Unemployment Committee
Skills for every young person

Report of Session 2021-22 - published 26 November 2021 - HL Paper 98


Summary of conclusions and recommendations

Executive summary

Chapter 1: Introduction

Figure 1: Estimated cost of youth unemployment in 2022

Key themes and report structure

Key statistics

Table 1: Labour market status of young people aged 16 to 24, Q2 2021

Figure 2: Proportion of 18-year-olds not in full-time education or work-based training, Q2 2021

Figure 3: NEET young people aged 16 to 24 in the UK between April and June 2021

Figure 4: Youth unemployment for young people age 16 to 24 in the UK between July and September 2021

Figure 5: Youth unemployment rates (%) in OECD countries, Q2 2021

Figure 6: Destinations of 18-year-olds at the end of compulsory education or training in England in 2019/20

Figure 7: Spending at different stages of education (2020–21 prices)

Chapter 2: Shortages of skills and their impact on young people

Figure 8: Defining skills

Box 1: How do the basic skills of our young people compare internationally?

Figure 9: Percentage of all adults aged 20 to 45 who held a level
4 to 5 qualification as their highest in the UK, Germany and Canada

Skills mismatches - background

Figure 10: Estimated under-skilling in the workforce in 2030

Table 2: Highest qualification held by 19–64-year-olds in the UK in 2019

Box 2: Digital skills initiatives

Government initiatives

Box 3: Young people’s views on essential skills

Box 4: Life skills

Pre-16 secondary education

Figure 11: EBacc and non-EBacc subjects in GSCE entries from 2017 to 2021 (%)

Figure 12: National curriculum for secondary education in 1904 and today

Figure 13: 70% decline in GCSE entries in Design & Technology

Figure 14: 40% decline in GCSE entries in creative subjects

Box 5: The Curriculum for Wales

Figure 15: Possible recalibration of progress measures

Box 6: Assessment reform

Reskilling and upskilling

Box 7: Claiming benefits whilst studying

Chapter 3: Careers guidance and work experience

Careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG)

Box 8: The Baker Clause

Box 9: The Gatsby Benchmarks

Figure 16: The Gatsby Benchmarks for Good Career Guidance

Work experience

Chapter 4: Further education

The pressures on FE funding

Figure 17: Funding for FE has fallen over the last decade

Figure 18: Public spending on 16-18 and post-18 FE in £billion in England

Support for learners who are disadvantaged

The reputation of FE institutions

T Levels

: Composition of T Levels

Box 10: Defunding of ‘competing’ qualifications

Figure 20: Proposed timeline for the reconsideration of funding for qualifications that overlap with T Levels

Chapter 5: Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships: Key statistics

Figure 21: Total apprenticeship starts by age since 2002/03

Figure 22: Proportional (%) apprenticeship starts by age since 2002/03

Figure 23: Apprenticeship starts by age and level during the pandemic in England

Supply of apprenticeship places

The apprenticeship levy

Lack of incentives

Other factors

Barriers to take up

Misconceptions about apprenticeships

Figure 24: Graduate under- and unemployment

Demographic stereotypes

Figure 25: Apprenticeship starts by females in STEM subjects in 2019/20

Systemic barriers

Chapter 6: Tackling disadvantage

Socio-economically disadvantaged young people

Figure 26: The disadvantage gap for young people

Young people with special educational needs and disabilities ( SEND)

Figure 27: Young people with SEND face significant challenges in education

Figure 28: Disability employment gap between 2015 and 2020 for those aged 16 to 64 in October to December

Young people from ethnic minority backgrounds

Figure 29: Percentage of young people in the UK aged 16 to 24 who were NEET by ethnicity and gender between 2017 and 2019 (combined)

Figure 30: Increase in unemployment rates for young people by ethnic group during the COVID-19 pandemic

Box 11: Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998

Young people who have been in care

Young people who have been in custody

Table 3: Adult (18+) FE and skills participation (2019/20) in prison education

Chapter 7: Governmental initiatives and responsibilities

Current cross-departmental approach

Figure 31: Key departmental responsibilities

Box 12: Scotland’s Youth Employment Minister


The UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Data collection and publication

The Labour Force Survey (LFS)

Figure 32: Local variations in the NEET rate for 21-year-olds
in the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) area at March 2017

Government interventions

School leaver destinations

Local and regional policy implementation

Appendix 1: List of Members and declarations of interest

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

Appendix 4: Glossary of terms

Appendix 5: Engagement session notes

Appendix 6: Youth unemployment indicators

Appendix 7: A recent history of youth ALMPS

Appendix 8: The Gatsby Benchmarks

Appendix 9: Examples of qualifications by level

Appendix 10: Apprenticeship starts by age and level

Evidence is published online at and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives (020 7219 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence.

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