School to Work was launched to address the market failure in which young people are often not adequately equipped for the world of work, and employers feel they do not have access to the level of necessary skills from young people they need to succeed in the world of work.
The initiative was launched in September 2017 in response to the core recommendation of the EY Foundation’s An Age of Uncertainty report which found that too many young people did not have information on, or access to, pathways into work.
Following on from the launch of the Careers Strategy by Department for Education (DFE) in December 2018 EY Foundation is working with a number of key organisations to address these issues.
Starting at primary school age, the aim is to help young people prepare better for the world of work, with the goals of:
- better understanding the opportunities within the world of work and forging links with employers
- developing a common language framework which provides guidance for schools on embedding employability/enterprise skills into the curriculum and enables progress to be measured as young people transition though their school years
Research and publications
The EY Foundation has undertaken research with both young people and employers which highlights an urgent demand for a systemic approach to preparing young people for work, via schools, with strong employer engagement.
The Framework for Success: connecting young people with employers from school to work
The White Paper makes the case for the implementation for curriculum interventions to equip young people for the world of work and give employers access to the skills workforce they need.Read more
An Age of Uncertainty
In September 2016 the EY Foundation, in collaboration with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), published An Age of Uncertainty based on research with 1,500 young people. It found their experience of the transition to work is inconsistent and heavily dependent on where they live, their school, and socio-economic background. It also revealed that young people lack the core skills needed to succeed in the world of work and knowledge about the job market and the diversity of routes into work – all of which undermine their ambition.
National Youth Panel
Young people will be at the heart of shaping School to Work through the National Youth Panel. School to Work is about enabling young people to transition well into the workplace and get the jobs they want. The ten young people on the panel aged between 16 and 25 from across the UK will represent the voice of young people and ensure the range of needs and challenges they face are reflected.
National Youth Panel members
National Youth Panel
“As 1 of 5 siblings, in a single parent household where benefits and income support were the norm, a lack of networks, a lack of ‘know-how’, a lack of guidance and a lack of confidence all pose huge challenges to getting a job. Young people need to believe they can achieve and that it is possible to get a job they want.”
National Youth Panel
“Young people are just apprehensive about their future and a lack of the right skills and experiences mean they lack the confidence to find a job that fulfils them. Skills such as how to network, how to be part of a team and how to fill out an application need to be introduced in schools at an early age to build this confidence, provide inspiration and broaden opportunities for young people.”
National Youth Panel
“Young people, including me, are funnelled through the exam factories we call schools. We’re led down a path, usually university, and as soon as we step off the path suddenly we’re on our own with no skills to succeed! That is why the School to Work Framework is so badly needed — to equip young people with the skills they need for the future.”
Nick, 17, Aberdeen
Having left school at 17, Nick is about to start as a Junior Associate with EY in Scotland. Not going to university was an easy decision to make as he believes that learning from experienced colleagues who are experts in their field will benefit him throughout his career.
Ciara, 19, Liverpool
Ciara is an undergraduate student at the University of Warwick studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She has been a Member of the UK Youth Parliament, working on campaigns surrounding child poverty in Liverpool, and is currently Deputy Chair of a youth advisory council working in schools and online.
Michael, 17, Glasgow
Michael has a passion for helping others. Currently a student at Strathclyde University studying Accountancy with Mathematics and Statistics, Michael is a qualified football referee who loves watching his local team Partick Thistle every Saturday.
Alex, 20, Warwick
Alex is a final year Politics and International Studies student at the University of Warwick. She holds student ambassador roles across the West Midlands and enjoys writing and performing spoken word poetry, discussing themes such as politics, race and identity.
David, 21, Birmingham
David is an undergrad studying business at Aston and an active member of his university basketball team, and a basketball coach. David volunteers as a mentor, leads career insight workshops, and is involved with the Youth Offending Service for his borough.
Afzal, 25, London
Afzal works in sales for a global investment bank and is a trustee and board member at his local youth centre, where he has volunteered for over 13 years. He enjoys playing football, spending time with family and friends, and talking to university students about internships and life after education.
Iqra, 17, South East
Iqra is studying A-levels at Wycombe High school where she is part of their Student Leadership Team. Outside her studies she enjoys making a difference to young people in her community through volunteering and mentoring.
Haleema, 24, London
Haleema works at an educational software company and has worked on initiatives aimed at empowering young people from marginalized communities.
Ayo, 24, London
Ayo works as an Area Manager for a leading manufacturer, initially joining on their Graduate Scheme in 2015. He is a guest speaker who focuses on encouraging young people. He enjoys boxing, football, cycling and travelling. Ayo’s role within the National Youth Panel will be to link to the employer working group.
Duncan, 22, Manchester
Duncan is a social entrepreneur and founder of Network Young CIC, working with 13-19 year olds to develop high quality networks that help them make more informed career choices. He is a regular BBC contributor and committed ambassador and fundraiser for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
If you are interested in finding out more about School to Work we would love to hear from you. Please contact us:Email
Call us at: +44 (0)20 7951 3133