Tackling unemployment with youth-led social innovation

11th July 2018



The ‘Transition to Work’ West Midlands Pilot will support young people into work

Today we are joining government, leading UK employers and civil society partners at 10 Downing Street to launch an innovative new approach to reducing youth unemployment.

The meeting is part of the Inclusive Economy Partnership, bringing together business, civil society and government to help address major societal challenges facing those on low to middle incomes. The first initiative from the group is the West Midlands Pilot, a collaborative approach to creating a sustainable pipeline of young talent.



Over 800,000 young people are currently not in education, employment or training. The West Midlands Pilot is designed to better reach this group by breaking down the silos that exist between organisations and taking an integrated approach defined by young people. Lived experience is at the core: young people co-lead the design, development, governance and delivery. The project will take a “local first” approach to closing the gaps in provision, by connecting, amplifying and building on the innovative projects that already exist in the West Midlands.


The pilot will be built out from local communities within the West Midlands, with the aim of scaling successful initiatives across the nation.

Andy Street, the Mayor of West Midlands, has committed his support to improving social mobility, skills development and job creation. He said: The West Midlands is experiencing significant economic growth, with record levels of job creation across the region. However, levels of youth unemployment remain high – which is why getting more young people into good jobs is one of our key priorities.

“Movement to Work has already made a positive impact for young people in London, so I’m delighted to welcome them to the West Midlands, where they will support our efforts to create a thriving and inclusive economy where more young people can get the training and skills they need to get good jobs and careers.”

The project has a number of partners including Accenture, Movement to Work, UnLtd, O2, Youth Employment UK and West Midlands Combined Authority with support from the Cabinet Office and the Department of Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

Young people finding work

Olly Benzecry, Chairman and Senior Managing Director, Accenture, UK & Ireland said: “As one of the world’s leading economies when it comes to innovation, the UK must find ways to harness that innovation to tackle the persistent challenge of youth unemployment. Swathes of young people are readily available to enter the workforce, but lack the right skills, or find themselves locked out in a cycle of “no experience, no job; no job, no experience."

"Initiatives like the West Midlands pilot provide us with the opportunity to collaborate to find new ways of getting young people into jobs, with the aim of building a more inclusive economy in which everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

Mark Norbury, CEO of UnLtd said: “Access to meaningful employment is a vital part of our society becoming fairer for young people. Social ventures have shown that they are ideally placed to tackle this challenge because they offer innovative and effective employment solutions that are ideally placed to build both practical skills and shape positive aspirations."

“We’re thrilled to be working on the West Midlands Pilot. This pilot means we have a chance to be bolder and braver with the ideas we’re developing and support more social entrepreneurs to help young people in the West Midlands access meaningful employment and imagine a better future.”

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