The Good Youth Employment Benchmark

Creating an evidence base of good youth employment practice

Joy Williams, Cristiana Orlando |   | Institute for Employment Studies  | Mar 2024

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This is an updated version of the 2022 evaluation by IES (commissioned by Youth Employment UK) which asked the following questions about youth employment practice:

What existing frameworks and toolkits are aimed at employers?

  • How are they utilised by employers?
  • What is the research evidence about utilisation (take-up), traction, and effectiveness?

What is the evidence base on employer practice supporting youth employment?

  • Reviewing the current Framework - what is missing from the current Framework in regard to youth-friendly employer practices?
  • Can the Benchmark be used to capture evidence of where there are gaps?

The review found a range of existing frameworks, but common challenges around awareness and take-up, and a lack of evidence on effectiveness. The review also found that the Youth Friendly Employer Award Framework is based on a range of good evidence and of different types - robust quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Two key lessons for implementing the Good Youth Employment Benchmark can be drawn out from this current research involving a review of the evidence-base and employer interviews – the need for the Benchmark to be accessible to employers and for it to be engaging once they have registered.

Following on from this, a number of recommendations are provided which can help Youth Employment UK develop a benchmarking tool that encourages employers to take on the best-evidenced practices, self-assess how they are progressing in delivering these practices, collect data on the reach of these practices to help increase the evidence-base, and ultimately make a difference to supporting young people into good employment.