FEEDBACKEncouraging young people to have their say on youth engagement and progression in Wales

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Are you aged 25 or under? Have you received extra support to help you stay in education, training or employment? Want to help shape future support for young people in Wales?

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The Youth Engagement and Progression Framework

What is it and who does it benefit?

The Youth Engagement and Progression Framework (YEPF) was developed in 2013. Its purpose is to support more young people in Wales to engage and progress in education, training and employment. The YEPF aims to improve young people’s experience of learning and help them progress into the world of work. It’s also built around the needs of young people – empowering you to choose your best option for progression, whatever your needs, abilities and circumstances.

The YEPF aims to help young people in Wales (aged 11-25) who are at risk of dropping out of education, training or employment or those who are experiencing factors which might affect their progression. These factors might include: being a young carer; experiencing mental health issues; experiencing family issues; being at risk of homelessness; having additional learning needs; or living in care. Or there may be other factors – this could be anything that is stopping you from staying or achieving in school, college, training or work.

What has the YEPF achieved and what’s changed since it was introduced?

Since the YEPF was introduced, fewer young people in Wales have dropped out of education, employment and training. This means more young people have stayed in school, college, or on training programmes designed to help them progress into a job or apprenticeship, and more young people have progressed into work. Organisations are working better together to deliver services for young people, and there’s also a much better understanding of what support is available in each local area. This information is also more easily available for young people and for those who are supporting them.

A lot has changed since 2013. New services like Working Wales have been introduced to provide advice for young people on getting into work and progressing in their careers. Some of the difficulties faced by young people have changed too, and we know that some have been made worse because of the Covid-19 pandemic, like mental health and wellbeing. There are new approaches in place to support young people experiencing factors like mental health issues and being at risk of homelessness, using youth work in delivery of these services. The Covid-19 pandemic has also had a big effect on young people’s experience of education and training and the employment opportunities available to them.

This is why the Welsh Government are reviewing the YEPF, and why we want to hear what you think!

How can I make a difference?

We want to hear from young people aged 11-25 across Wales to help shape future support through the YEPF. We want to hear about your experiences of the support you’ve received to help you stay in education or training, or to move into employment. We also want to understand what you think is working and what’s not, what needs updating, what’s missing and, really importantly, what more can be done to engage young people in the process.

If you want to help share future support for young people in Wales, read on to find out more about the YEPF…

Early identification

Early identification ensures that young people at risk of dropping out are identified and the right support is made available to them as soon as they need it. It involves schools, colleges, training providers, Councils, Careers Wales, the Youth Service, and others working together to identify young people in need of support.

They look at a range of information to help them do this, like attendance and behaviour or a young person’s achievements in school or college, and they consider other factors too which might increase the risk of a young person dropping out. These factors might include: being a young carer; experiencing mental health issues; experiencing family issues; being at risk of homelessness; having additional learning needs; or living in care.

Some of the factors that can make it hard to stay focused on learning or working can cause other difficulties for young people.

The Welsh Government wants to use the information that identifies young people in need of support also to identify those at risk of developing mental health issues or becoming homeless (e.g. sofa surfing). This way, organisations can see where they need to support young people in other areas of their lives.

What might this mean for me?
You might have received additional support from your school, college or another organisation like Careers Wales or the Youth Service to help you stay in education or training, or to move into employment.

Co-ordinating support (Brokerage)

Young people may be receiving support from a range of different organisations depending on their needs and circumstances. This can often become confusing or difficult to manage for the young person receiving support and for the organisations supporting them. Lead workers are able to provide a helping hand to guide young people through the process and to provide a consistent point of contact, advice and support.

What might this mean for me?
You might have received support from a lead worker – someone who keeps in touch with you on a regular basis and is able to help you access the support you need to stay and progress in education, training or employment.

Tracking

Tracking helps to ensure that the support on offer to young people is working in each local area. This involves schools, colleges, training providers, Careers Wales, Councils and others sharing information to track young people’s progress in education, training and into employment. It helps to identify young people who haven’t progressed and to target where more or better support may be needed.

What might this mean for me?
If you’ve dropped out of school, college or a training programme, you might have been contacted and offered additional support to help you back into education or training, or to move into employment.

Provision

There is a wide range of education, training and other provision available to young people across Wales, so it’s important to understand what’s on offer in a local area and whether this is meeting young people’s needs. This includes provision in schools, colleges and other training providers and covers courses and qualifications like GCSEs, A levels, BTECs and NVQs, work-based programmes such as Apprenticeships, employability programmes like Traineeships, or advice and guidance on employment and career options from Working Wales. This helps to ensure that changes can be made, or new provision added, if young people’s needs are not being met.

What might this mean for me?
You might have received information on different courses and training programmes based on your needs and circumstances, as well as help to make the right choice for you. These opportunities could be at a school, college or other training provider.

Employability

Employability programmes help young people get the support they need to progress into employment. This be could be through opportunities to engage with employers in school and college, as well as qualifications that teach employability skills. It could also involve training and work placements through programmes like Traineeships. Or it could be through a programme like Jobs Growth Wales, which helps young people get a ‘foot in the door’ and their first paid employment opportunity.

What might this mean for me?
You might have received help to decide what sort of job or career you want and to take the first step into employment – this may have involved undertaking a work placement, the chance to speak to different employers, support to develop the skills employers are looking for, or help with searching for the right opportunity.

Accountability

A range of organisations play a part in the YEPF. This includes schools, colleges, training providers, Councils, Careers Wales, the Youth Service and others, who are all responsible for making sure young people engage and progress in education, training and employment. We call this being ‘accountable’. There is an Engagement and Progression Coordinator in each local area, whose role is to ensure local services work together to support young people. Young people are a part of this process too, and should have a voice in influencing local plans.

What might this mean for me?
You might have been asked for your views on the support available for young people in your local area – one way that Councils or other organisations might do this is by asking young people if there is any provision or support missing that would help them to stay and progress in education, training or employment.

Have your say!

Do you want to help us shape future support for young people through the YEPF?
If so, we would love to hear from you!

Alternatively you can provide your feedback via the email address given below, or if you would prefer to do so by chatting with one of our team, please contact us on 01792 284450.

This form is for young people aged 25 and under. If you are over 25 and would like to provide feedback, please click here: yepf@gcs.ac.uk