Employ ME – Breaking Down Barriers for Vulnerable Young People Looking for Work

Following a survey of young people aged 11-30 by Youth Employment UK, reports show that anxiety and poor mental health are two of the top five barriers young people in the UK are facing when it comes to finding work. Through our Creative Futures programmes, Employ ME and Mighty Employers, we aim to combat these statistics and bring more young people in vulnerable positions into the working world.

The Youth Voice Census, conducted by Youth Employment UK earlier this year found that young people leaving education felt less prepared about their futures than expected, with career options such as T Levels, and Traineeships not part of discussion for 66% of young people surveyed. More evidence of the need for supportive employers for young people came from the just 29% of those surveyed who felt employers are supportive of hiring young people. These young people fear they do not have the experience or skills they need to progress, with 51% thinking anxiety was their biggest barrier in accessing career opportunities.

Following the success of the Kickstart Scheme through our Mighty Employers Gateway, TMC have launched two new programmes to encourage and support care experienced young people in accessing the tools they need to join the wider world. Employ ME, funded by the Charities Aid Foundation supports care experienced young people through our Creative Mentoring strand, alongside an online programme of resources, webinars, and tailored support from our Youth Programme team. With further studies from IRISS showing that vulnerable young people, such as those who are care experienced, are more at risk of poor mental health and mental health issues, supporting them towards their futures is an important part of TMC’s aims.

Our newly launched Mighty Employers network aims to bring together likeminded organisations who want to support young people in vulnerable circumstances as they begin their working lives. The network is there for employers who want to join us in aiding these young people to receive the right advice, support, and opportunities. Mighty Employers who are dedicated to improving the figures above and increasing the number of youth friendly employers can access funding, support, training, and resources through TMC.

Two and a half years on, and the effects of the pandemic on the mental health of young people are still coming to light. Findings from the European WellBe Project shows that young people in the UK felt a bigger impact on their mental health than any other country surveyed, and with the correlation between poorer mental health and anxieties around entering work, employment, education, or training, we hope our Employ ME and Mighty Employers programmes can help support those young people on the next step of their journeys.