Wednesday, 19 February 2014

In the air...

Good to meet up with Peter Kyle, once my deputy at ACEVO but now doing much more interesting things leading "WORKing for YOUth” (, whose mission is to work with the private sector in encouraging them to tackle youth unemployment. This builds on the work Peter did at ACEVO on the much acclaimed Commission we ran on Youth Unemployment in 2011. David Miliband chaired it with real distinction, and its ideas are still frequently cited today.

I'm surprised that the issue of youth unemployment is not more centre stage. Unemployment figures are out today and most commentators focus on the news of falling overall unemployment. And that is good news. 

But what is not good is the fact that we have an intractable problem with high and persistent youth unemployment. Today’s Government figures put it at 19.9%. The ACEVO Commission showed this is not simply a problem in a recession, and I'm surprised the political parties have not been more active in tackling it. My letter to the Chancellor in advance of the Budget (which is in one month today) highlighted the need to implement the Commission’s proposal of an intensive Job Ready Programme, to commission a range of local partners to help reduce the number of young people becoming NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training). ACEVO intends to make this area one of the key planks of our election work with the main political parties.

But back to Peter, we were up in the sky at the Shard overlooking London whilst enjoying chinese food. In fact enjoying it a little too much, as I was late for my supervision session with my Chair. Fortunately I was not sacked. It’s my Board meeting today; the trustees holding me and my directors team to account. 

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