United Futures - Research and Evaluation

We published a review of national and international evidence of how employers can support youth organisations in England.

Key findings from the review:

  • Employer engagement is associated with a reduction in a young person's likelihood of being 'not in education, employment or training' (NEET).

  • While there are examples of successful partnerships between business and the youth sector, we found that this kind of activity is not widespread and lacks structure.

  • A key barrier preventing the development of more partnerships is the recognised lack of awareness of each others' needs and capabilities.

Please read the review Summary and the Full Report here.

Our overall project evaluation has provided for the first time, comprehensive and robust research on the interaction between business and the youth sector – who is more likely to be interested and why, what the challenges are and how these can be addressed. We have highlighted the important and necessary role that brokerage plays in initiating, supporting and sometimes troubleshooting mutually beneficial and long lasting partnerships.

Over half the people we have met, have found a counterpart they want to work with moving forward, however our evidence shows that there is still a disconnect with what business can predominately offer (employee volunteers) and what youth organisations prioritise (work experience and funding).

Whilst we have seen and started a culture shift, Youth clubs and projects, run outside of school, are vital spaces for young people, and still face an uncertain future. Up to 3000 full-time youth worker posts are expected to be lost in the next 3 years, whilst youth unemployment between August and October 2012, youth unemployment rose by 48,000 to 993, 000. The need for this type of partnership working over the lifecycle of the project has increased and has never been greater.