Evaluating England's youth employment infrastructure

A dejected young businessman sitting alone on a park bench in London on a rainy day, photo by RichLegg/Getty Images

RichLegg/Getty Images

What is the issue?

The youth employment space has gone through substantial changes over the last several years, in part due to underfunding, structural changes and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes have had profound effects not only on youth employment itself, but also infrastructure organisations which provide vital support to frontline organisations working directly with young people.

As such, support provided for the infrastructure organisations, such as the Resilience Funding offered by Youth Futures Foundation (YFF) is vital to strengthen the youth and/or employment space in England, in particular those focusing on young people from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds, who have been disproportionately affected.

How are we helping?

RAND Europe has been commissioned by YFF to conduct a study on infrastructure organisations working in the youth employment space in England. Researchers will be using a theory-based approach and mixed methods including interviews, survey and workshops to:

  1. Show how infrastructure bodies support the youth employment space and effect change
  2. Support infrastructure bodies to improve practice and delivery to stakeholders, and
  3. Improve the evidence base of what works by sharing good practice between infrastructure organisations.

What are our findings?

As part of the project, the study team conducted five case studies to look more in depth at emerging themes of the study. For these case studies, we did in-depth interviews with relevant infrastructure organisations and other stakeholders to get a better understanding of how infrastructure organisations support frontline organisations and other stakeholders in these different areas.

The case studies are:

The case studies can be accessed from the links above or from the Youth Futures Foundation website. Our final report for this study will be published later this year.