On the 17th of November, London Youth was invited to contribute evidence to the Greater London Authority’s second London Children’s Rights Inquiry, which was hosted in Westminster as part of Parliament Week.
This event was an opportunity for a panel of young people to address the complex issues that affect them and to hear from stakeholders in government, business, and the charity sector. This year’s event had the theme of ‘apprenticeships, training, and jobs’ and was hosted by Joanne McCartney, Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare. The event, which was recorded by Hansard, brought together a diverse group of important and innovative voices in the youth sector.
Matt Dronfield, London Youth’s Senior Employability Manager, presented evidence to the panel that focussed on London issues. Matt was able to draw on a huge amount of experience working with London Youth’s member organisations and with Talent Match London.
Matt talked about the challenges of ‘hidden’ young people that we have experienced through Talent Match London. Hidden young people are those not in education, employment, or training, but who are also not receiving any sort of welfare benefits. These young people are largely invisible, even to government statistics, and are some of the young people furthest from stable employment. These young people are disproportionately from BAME backgrounds and are at risk from a range of negative outcomes, including for homelessness, poverty, and mental health.
Matt raised the concerns that we have heard from young people. These include housing and the cost of living, safety and crime, and the shortage of employment for young people in many parts of the capital.
Matt previously made the case for meaningful and high-quality work placement and training opportunities for young people here. At the event, he discussed the need for greater support for young people, who are trying to access a complex and changing job market, through taster opportunities, vocational training, and material support to make these viable options. Matt also called for greater support for young people with disabilities and their employers through a more efficient Access to Work programme.
We would like to thank the GLA’s Peer Outreach Team, Parliament, and especially the young people involved for this important opportunity to highlight the challenges that young Londoners face.