Youth Employment Convention 2015

19th November 2015

The Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CESI), and NIACE will be hosting the annual Youth Employment Convention on 24 November 2015. In a month when the Equalities and Human Rights Commission reported upon the “worst ever decline in living standards for young people under 34” the convention puts full youth employment and its necessity for UK growth centre stage.  


Young people are adversely affected by a “perfect storm” of policies including high tuition fees; the abolition of grants for poorer students and of housing benefit for young people; scarce social housing and house prices and rents that are out of reach; as well as continuingly high youth unemployment, especially amongst NEETS and too many young people in low skilled jobs on “precarious” contracts. Addressing these issues now will lead to a significant and positive impact for young people, their communities and the prosperity of the UK’s labour market. 


The Convention will focus on five key themes throughout the day which include:


  • Transitioning to work
  • Supporting the disadvantaged 
  • The skills we need
  • Employer engagement 
  • Joining up strategy around the individual 

The voice of young people is central to the Convention. They contribute with a Youth Debate, close it with a Call to Action and participate as facilitators in all sessions throughout the event – keeping the event “real”, energised and focussed upon practical ways in which young people are being assisted to make the very best of their opportunities.


This Convention will explore the latest best practice from welfare to work and skills providers; the recruitment and accreditation industry; FE colleges; housing associations; local authorities, think tanks and voluntary sector organisations delivering support services to young people. 


Experts in employability and skills for young people are contributing to the event, including:


  • HRH The Princess Royal, Patron, National Institute of Adult Continuing Education
  • Francis Augusto, Talent Match London
  • Eddie Stride, Chief Executive, City Gateway
  • David Grailey, Chief Executive, NCFE
  • Claudia Harris, Chief Executive, the Careers and Enterprise Company
  • Ruth Gilbert, Chief Executive, Career Colleges Trust
  • Hugo Garvey, Youth Ambassador, YEUK
  • Chris Bolton, Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Pearson
  • Rachel Smith, Senior Labour Market Policy Economist, CBI
  • Stephen Carrick-Davies, Director, Facework
  • Ben Chu, Economics Editor, Independent 
  • Rowan Foster, Assistant Director, UKCES
  • Catriona Curry, National Programme Manager, Talent for Care, NHS 
  • Anton Chernikov, Founder, The Exponentials
  • Iain Walsh, Director , Labour Market Strategy, DWP
  • Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Children and Young People Board, LGA
  • Katherine Garrett, Senior Manager Community Investment, CIPD
  • Will Gore, Deputy Managing Editor, London Evening Standard, Independent and i  
  • Kerrie Gemmill, Director of National Operations,  Gingerbread
  • David Hughes, Chief Executive, National Institute of Adult Continuing Education
  • Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Lead Consultant, London Ambitions and Chair, DfE/CfBT Core Maths Support Programme
  • Maggie Kalnins, Chief Executive, Inclusion Trust
  • Gerard Liston, Director, Forum-Talent-Potential
  • Jack Welch, Youth Ambassador, YEUK
  • Carrie Deacon, Nesta Innovation Lab
  • Tony Wilson, Director of Policy & Research, Centre for Economic & Social Inclusion
  • Dr Anthony Mann, Director of Policy and Research, Education and Employers Taskforce 
  • Jenny North, Director of Policy and Strategy, Impetus-PEF 
  • Toni Pearce, Head of Employment and Skills, National Institute of Adult Continuing Education
  • Iain Salisbury, Chief Operating Officer, learndirect  
  • Stewart Segal , Chief Executive, Association of Employment and Learning Providers
  • Samantha Sparrow, Task Squad Director, V-inspired 
  • Cathy Walsh OBE, FE Representative on London Enterprise Panel (LEP) & Former CEO of Barking & Dagenham College

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE and prospective CE of the Learning & Work Institute, said: 


“It is clear that we need to do more to ensure every young person is supported in their transition from school to work. Too many young people lack the opportunities they need to carve out careers in what’s a fast-changing world.


“What is less obvious is how, in straightened financial circumstances, this can be best achieved.  NIACE, and the new Learning & Work Institute, are committed to promoting the interests of young people and we are delighted to support the Youth Employment Convention for a third successive year.  The dynamic environment generated at the Convention brings all the right people together to create the relationships, networks and synergy that will drive the reform that we need. We want to maximise the life chances of our young people and enable them to become the highly skilled and high earning workers the UK needs to guarantee its future prosperity.”


Follow the Convention on Twitter #YouthEC15