Submission to the House of Lords Inquiry on Youth Unemployment

In this submission on May 2021, The Bell Foundation elaborated on the challenges facing young people seeking employment, how structural factors can impact youth unemployment, and how might these be addressed.

Our submission also addressed whether funding for education, training and skills is enough to meet the needs of young people and of the labour market, and how to ensure funding continues to reach those who need it most.

We also elaborated on whether the national curriculum equips young people with the right knowledge and skills to find secure jobs and careers and what changes may be needed to ensure this is the case in future.

We recommended that the Government:

  • Rolls out an integrated and coordinated approach across its departments to the development of an English Language Strategy. Data collection on the needs and levels of proficiency of ESOL learners must be a priority action in the English Language Strategy.
  • Develops and publishes statutory guidance for schools on assessing and recording proficiency in English levels.

We also recommended that the Department for Education:

  • Pilots ESOL transition programmes which are integrated with other transition programmes, such as employability and vocational study.
  • Considers funding models for ESOL transition programmes which are commensurate to the volume of study required for ESOL learners to achieve the language proficiency required to progress to level 3 qualifications.
  • Considers extending eligibility criteria for the Lifetime Skills Guarantee to allow for young people to have the funds to progress through ESOL levels and achieve a proficiency in English for employment.