Good quality work: youth voices from across the UK

Findings from the young people consultations

Orlando C |   | Institute for Employment Studies | Mar 2022

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This is the third of a series of reports looking at good quality work from young people’s perspectives. It sets out the findings from consultations, including interviews and focus groups, with 70 young people across the four UK nations exploring respondents’ views and perceptions of the quality of work, their experiences in work, and the impact of the pandemic. This report is part of a three-year research project for the Health Foundation’s Young People’s Future Health Inquiry.

The Inquiry focuses on understanding how to develop effective approaches in policy and practice to improve access to good quality youth employment and achieve systemic change across the four UK nations. The Inquiry is a wideranging, multi-year programme aimed at influencing the policy agenda to recognise that young people’s experiences between the ages of 12 and 25 have crucial consequences for their future health outcomes. Work, and specifically the quality of work, is a key wider determinant of young people’s health and wellbeing, both in the short- and long-term (Papoutsaki, et al. 2019).

The research reported here uses a youth-centred approach. This means the design and materials were developed with young people’s involvement as experts by experience, chiefly through collaborative workshops with young advisers from Leaders Unlocked and young campaigners from the Equality Trust. The interviews and focus groups reported in the research took place between July and September 2021.

Core to the research was the inclusion of the voices and experiences of young people from the four UK nations. The research captured the views of young people across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. When recruiting participants, we prioritised the inclusion of voices from under-represented groups, particularly of minority ethnic groups, disabled young people, and those with health conditions.