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Youth transitions

employment , young people , training and skills



This research aims to explore the school-to-work transition, using London as a case study. It will examine the institutional gaps for young people between school and employment and how to strengthen support for school-leavers, focusing on how to provide better-quality work- and college-based vocational education that leads to jobs.

It is a timely opportunity to explore these issues, with the Coalition government implementing a range of policy changes that include widespread reform to schools, tuition fees, the educational maintenance allowance, skills provision and apprenticeships. The recent riots have also cast a sharp lens on London’s youth and the opportunities that exist for them. Alongside an upcoming mayoral election, it creates an active policy landscape ripe for new ideas.

The transition from the teenage years to adulthood can be a difficult time for many young people. Employment options are arguably more diverse with careers existing that were previously unheard of, and wider access to technology has certainly broadened the horizons for many young people. But when scratching under the surface, some of these opportunities are not necessary as accessible as they seem. 

It is often in the transition from school-to-work that young people are most disadvantaged. Access to university remains the priority of successive governments’ social mobility strategies, meaning that other options for school-leavers offer fewer opportunities. For the 50 per cent of young people who do not go to university, the landscape may appear decidedly less optimistic.

This work is being generously supported by the Greater London Authority.