4th December 2015

Here at the Mayor’s Fund for London we spend a great deal of time working out the most effective ways of addressing issues of youth unemployment in our great city. Going by first impressions the picture looks pretty bleak [1].

  • Unemployment in London is two and a half times higher for 16-24 year olds than it is for those aged 25-64.
  • They are also much more likely to be low-paid that other age groups

We are an optimistic bunch though and greatly believe in the drive, ambition and capability of Londoners in shaping their future. As a strategic partnership organisation one of our responsibilities is to engage those parts of society that have a role to play in this.

Apprentices of the year at The Mayor's Fund for London Employment Awards
Apprentices of the year at The Mayor’s Fund for London Employment Awards

So when we were informed of the London Fairness Commission initiative we jumped on the opportunity to influence a wider debate on how to ensure London provides access to opportunities to its citizens more equally. The Commission is an independent group of academics, policy makers, business and third sector leaders, established to facilitate conversations across the capital about how to create a fairer city. Recommendations from the Commission will be presented during the coming Mayoral election.

We were particularly interested in the employment discussion which focused on how to effectively engage employers in helping address youth employment. Recommendations included:

  • Build a stronger business case for inclusive recruitment and progression policies so that young people from different backgrounds have more equal access.
  • Build a coalition of leading employers that can drive change across London, e.g. paying London Living Wage, promote inclusive recruitment policies etc.
  • Actively involve employers in designing apprenticeships, in-school careers guidance, paid work placements.

Conversations like these are important; they allow collective voices to be heard and presented where it matters. The recommendations are also a call for action. From our end we will continue our engagement with employers and other stakeholders across the sector to ensure all young Londoners will be able to play a part in the future of our capital.