The Youth Select Committee announced a new inquiry into barriers to work experience on Tuesday (15 May). The Committee is calling for evidence from a wide range of witnesses, including businesses and charities, as well as young people who have been directly affected by these barriers
The announcement comes as a YouGov poll reveals more than two-thirds of young people (71%) are expecting it to be tougher to find a job in 2030 with 58% of all 11-18 year olds citing a lack of work experience as a barrier.
And research from the House of Commons library has given even greater cause for concern, as recent data shows more than half a million young people are unemployed (excluding those in full-time education).
Now in its seventh year, the Youth Select Committee is a British Youth Council initiative, supported by the House of Commons. The eleven committee members are aged 11-18 and include Members of the UK Youth Parliament, Youth Councillors, and representatives from each of the devolved nations. Access to work experience was voted one of the top issues affecting young people in last year’s Make Your Mark ballot – the largest annual consultation of young people in the UK.
This year, the committee will look at issues including:
- What does good quality work experience look like? What do young people and businesses expect to get from it?
- How important is good quality work experience to successful industrial strategy?
- What evidence is there that work experience boosts social mobility?
Claudia Quinn, Chair of the Youth Select Committee said: “The Youth Select Committee will investigate the barriers young people face when accessing work experience. Work experience has become a growing concern for young people seeking to enter the workplace. We’re looking forward to ensuring we hear a variety of voices on this issue so we can make strong recommendations to the Government.”
Rt. Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons said: “I have always admired the ability of the Youth Select Committee to identify and raise awareness about the issues affecting young people across the country. This year’s Youth Select Committee is no different, launching an inquiry into the very real problem of barriers to work experience. I look forward to reading their report.”
The Youth Select Committee call for evidence closes on Monday 18th June 2018 and the Committee will hold oral evidence sessions in the House of Commons in July.