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Call for Evidence

Call for evidence

Aim of the inquiry

The House of Lords Youth Unemployment Committee was appointed in January 2021 to consider youth unemployment, education and skills for those aged 16 to 24 in England. It is chaired by Lord Shipley.

Youth unemployment is a longstanding issue in the UK, with rates of unemployment typically higher amongst those aged 16 to 24 than amongst older adults. The youth labour market is characterised by an historic focus on academic study, technical and vocational skills gaps, and challenges facing young people who may be from disadvantaged backgrounds or have special educational needs and/or disabilities. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, youth unemployment rates were falling; however, COVID-19 has profoundly affected the labour market and economy. Research shows that young people are being disproportionately affected, which may have a scarring effect on their prospects.

This Committee will consider what measures should be taken to protect and create jobs for young people. It will also examine how the labour market for young people may change due to current events such as COVID-19, Brexit, and technological developments in the longer term. It intends to report before the end of November 2021.

How to make your voice heard

This is a public call for written evidence to be submitted to the Committee. The deadline is 4.00pm on 10 May 2021. You can follow the progress of the inquiry on Twitter @LordsYouthUnemp.

The Committee is looking to hear from as diverse a range of views as possible. Diversity comes in many forms and hearing a range of different perspectives means that Committees are better informed and can more effectively scrutinise public policy and legislation. Committees can undertake their role most effectively when they hear from a wide range of individuals, sectors or groups in society. We encourage anyone with experience of or expertise in an issue we are investigating to share their views with the Committee, with the full knowledge that their views have value and are welcome. If you think someone you know would have views to contribute, please do pass this on to them.

The Committee is particularly keen to hear from young people over the course of its inquiry, especially those who have experienced or are experiencing unemployment. We want to ensure that their voices are central to this inquiry, and also welcome the sharing of views on youth unemployment in other forms.

If you would like to share your views in a different or shorter form on any issue relating to youth unemployment, you can send a direct message to our Twitter account @LordsYouthUnemp or contact the Committee’s WhatsApp account at 0207 219 6612. You can share your views in any form this way, including short videos of up to 2 minutes or text. If sharing your views in this way, you are welcome to focus on your own views, perspectives and experiences concerning youth unemployment; there is no obligation to answer the below questions directly unless you would prefer to do so. Please see the Guidance for Submissions section for further information on sharing your views in this format. Messages shared in this way will not be shared or published in any way without the permission of the sender, and no contact information will be shared or published.

If you or your organisation works closely with young people, we would also encourage you to promote this consultation to them for direct responses, and also to incorporate their views and insights into your own response as appropriate.


The Committee is happy to receive submissions on any issues related to the subject of the inquiry but would particularly welcome submissions on the questions listed below. You do not need to address every question. Respondents may interpret the questions broadly and are encouraged to provide as much information as possible. Instructions on how to submit evidence are set out at the end of this document.


1. What are the main challenges facing young people seeking employment today? How do structural factors impact youth unemployment, and how might these be addressed?

2. What are the main challenges facing employers in the labour market today? What barriers do they face in recruiting young workers and setting up apprenticeships and traineeships?

3. What future social, economic and technological changes are likely to impact youth unemployment? What impact might these changes have, and how should this be planned for and addressed?

4. Is funding for education, training and skills enough to meet the needs of young people and of the labour market? How can we ensure it continues to reach those who need it most?

Primary and secondary education

5. Does the national curriculum equip young people with the right knowledge and skills to find secure jobs and careers? What changes may be needed to ensure this is the case in future?

6. Is careers education preparing young people with the knowledge to explore the range of opportunities available? What role does work experience play in this regard?

7. What lessons can be learned from alternative models of education and assessment? What are the challenges with, and obstacles to, the adoption of such models?

Further education, higher education and training  

8. What more needs to be done to ensure parity of esteem between vocational and academic study in the jobs market and society? How can funding play a role in this?

9. What is the role of business and universities in creating a thriving jobs market for young people? How should they be involved in developing skills and training programmes at further and higher education level?

10. What can be done to ensure that enough apprenticeship and traineeship placements are available for young people? Is the apprenticeship levy the right way to achieve a continuing supply of opportunities?

Jobs and employment

11. What lessons can be learned by current and previous youth labour market policy interventions and educational approaches, both in the UK and in other countries?

12. What economic sectors present opportunities for sustainable, quality jobs for young people? How can we ensure these opportunities are capitalised on and that skills meet demand, particularly for green jobs?

13. How might future youth labour market interventions best be targeted towards particular groups, sectors or regions? Which ones should be targeted?

ANNEX: Guidance for submissions

Submitting written evidence

Written submissions may be submitted online, as a Word document, using the written submission form available at This page also provides guidance on submitting evidence. All submissions made through the written submission form should receive an on-screen confirmation once the evidence has been submitted.

We also encourage people to share their views in whatever form you feel comfortable with and in as short or detailed a way as you prefer. You can also let the Committee know of your views and experiences of youth unemployment by:

  • Sending us a tweet or direct message @LordsYouthUnemp
  • Sharing a short video or audio (of up to 2 minutes), or text message to the Committee’s WhatsApp account at 0207 219 6612.

If submitting in this way, there is no need to answer the listed questions directly unless you would prefer to do so – we are interested in hearing your views and experiences most of all.

Please note that messages shared on Twitter or WhatsApp do not constitute formal evidence to the Committee and so are not protected by Parliamentary privilege, though the Committee will take all views shared into account as it pursues its inquiry, and may cite views shared in this way in its final report. No messages shared through Twitter or WhatsApp will be published or cited in any form without the express permission of the sender, and no contact information of senders will be published or shared. The Committee WhatsApp account will be closed at the conclusion of the inquiry and all contacts deleted.

Getting in touch

If you have difficulty making a written submission on the online portal or have any other questions regarding sharing your views, please contact the Committee staff at If you do not have access to a computer, mobile phone or internet, you may telephone the Committee at 0207 219 2228 or submit a paper copy of your evidence to: Clerk to the Select Committee on Youth Unemployment, Committee Office, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW.

Guidelines for written evidence

Short, concise submissions are preferred, and submissions longer than 6 pages should include a one-page summary. Please ensure the submission is free of logos and signatures. Paragraphs should be numbered, and submissions should be dated.

Submissions should make a note of the author’s name, and of whether the author is acting in an individual or corporate capacity. Submissions with a university or college address should make clear whether they are submitted in an individual capacity or on behalf of the university or college.

You should be careful not to comment on individual cases currently before a court of law or matters in respect of which court proceedings are imminent. If you anticipate such issues arising, you should discuss with the Clerk to the Committee how this might affect your submission.

The Committee cannot accept anything that has not been prepared specifically in response to this call for evidence, or that has been published elsewhere.

Accepting evidence

Submissions become the property of the Committee, which will decide whether to accept them as evidence. Once you have received acknowledgement via email that your submission has been accepted as evidence, you may publicise or publish it yourself, but in doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee. If you publish your evidence separately, you should be aware that you will be legally responsible for its content.

Views shared via WhatsApp or Twitter will not constitute formal evidence to the Committee and are therefore not protected by Parliamentary privilege. They will, however, be considered in full by the Committee and views shared in this way may be incorporated into its report and recommendations. Any views shared in this form will only be published with the express permission of the sender.


Evidence that is accepted by the Committee may be published online at any stage; when it is published it becomes subject to Parliamentary copyright and is protected by Parliamentary privilege. It will normally appear on the Committee’s website and will be deposited in the Parliamentary Archives.

Personal contact details will be removed from evidence before publication but will be retained by the Committee Office and used for specific purposes relating to the Committee’s work, for instance to seek additional information.

In certain circumstances the Committee may be prepared to accept submissions but not to publish them, in whole or in part. If you would like to submit evidence on this basis you should first discuss this with the Clerk to the Committee.

Oral evidence

Persons who submit written evidence, and others, may be invited to give oral evidence. Oral evidence is usually given in public and broadcast online; transcripts are produced and published online. Persons invited to give oral evidence will be notified separately of the procedure to be followed and the topics likely to be discussed. At present, all public hearings are being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further details

Substantive communications to the Committee about the inquiry should be addressed through the Clerk, whether or not they are intended to constitute formal evidence to the Committee.

 You may follow the progress of the inquiry at

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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