Policy Report

Youth social action and transitions into work: what role for employers?

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Youth social action and transitions into work: what role for employers?

Published November 2013

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A key aim of the Learning to Work programme is to help young people prepare for work, and the CIPD have been a leading voice on the role employers have to play in helping young people transition from education into work. One of the ways we’re encouraging employers to get involved in tackling youth unemployment is by increasing their engagement with young people. Participating in or supporting youth-led social action, or youth volunteering, is one way employers are choosing to get involved. Using six in-depth employer case studies this research investigates why employers have decided to engage with young people in this way, how their programmes work and highlight the benefits to young people, business and the communities in which they operate. The research behind this report is a result of our ongoing conversations with charity, government and employer partners, including the recently formed Campaign for Youth Social Action. 

‘Our hope is that this research will encourage more employers to engage with youth-led social action
and help them envisage how they can lead successful programmes’ 

The report reinforces the message that youth volunteering programmes offer a complimentary mix of benefits for business and the wider society. Our case studies show that by engaging in youth-led social action, employers play an important and instrumental role in developing young people’s employability and skills, whilst at the same time realising many business benefits themselves and successfully challenging expectations and stereotypes around young people. 

Contents of the report:

  • Introduction (including information on case study organisations) 
  • Aims and reasons for employer involvement in youth-led social action 
  • Focus and elements of youth social action programmes 
  • The benefits of social action (young people, business and community) 
  • The development of social action programmes 
  • Conclusions

Alongside this research the CIPD has launched an employment guide for young people. This includes advice for young people on how volunteering can give them vital work experience and features information on how to effectively articulate the skills they will gain during the application and interview process.