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Young people, skills and prospects in employment: policy, practice and inclusiveness

Friday, 29 March 2019 from 09:00 to 16:15 (GMT)

Young people, skills and prospects in employment:...

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day ticket 27 Mar 2019 Free   Add to Waitlist

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Young people, skills and prospects in employment: policy, practice and inclusiveness. Developing understanding of what works and why

A conference co-hosted by the University of Leeds and Leeds City Council


 In a context of increasing concerns about skills shortages and worsening job prospects for many young people, multiple interventions seek to improve young people’s pathways from school and college into employment, raise skill levels and promote inclusive growth. Whilst such ambitions are at the heart of national and local agendas they are situated within contexts of enormous complexity and challenge. These include difficulties of coordination across key stakeholders, linked capacity issues, entrenched social inequalities and barriers to inclusion, and limits to supply side policy solutions. Furthermore there are important gaps in evidence about what works and why, and what facilitates and what obstructs effective policy and practice in local contexts.

This one day conference will focus on these questions in the Leeds city context. It will bring to bear national as well as city expertise and evidence, and explore a range of approaches which seek to enhance young people's pathways, skills and prospects. We will document the kind of research evidence and strategies which could further support policy and practice, and aim to facilitate a new network and ongoing collaborations.

9.00   Registration

9.30   Cllr Jonathan Pryor: Introduction 

9.40 Prof. Ewart Keep (University of Oxford): On complexity and young people’s prospects: policy, evidence and  possibilities for meaningful interventions

Session 1: strengthening connection between education and employment

10.15 - Panel: (How) can enhanced connections between schools and employers support young people into quality employment? Each speaker will describe examples of their organisation’s work, reflect on efficacy in enhancing young people’s pathways and prospects, and linked challenges. Open discussion will follow. Speakers: Olly Newton (Director of Research and Policy, The Edge Foundation); Andrea Cowans (Leeds City College); Sonya Midgley (Enterprise and Education Lead LEP); Stephanie Burras (CEO Ahead Partnership). Discussion: floor and panel

 11 20 Coffee

 Session 2: Local labour market contexts and labour demand

11.45 Peter Glover (LEP) Leeds labour market, skills in context and young people’s prospects

12.00 Mark Goldstone (Head of Policy, WNY Chamber of Commerce) Employer perspectives on training, education and youth skills: can policy and practice be more joined up?

12.15 Workshop: facilitated small group discussions 

1.00 Summary feedback session 

1.10 Lunch

Session 3: Employers, young people and skills in context

1.50. Prof. Irena Grugulis (University of Leeds) Soft skills: how much are they a product of employment contexts?  

2.05 Dr. Jo Ingold (University of Leeds) Apprenticeships and the levy: institutional constraints on take up

2.20 Q and A

 Session 4: Diversity and Inclusion

2.30. Prof. Sue Maguire (University of Bath) Young people at the margins: social inclusion and skills policies in UK comparative perspective

3.00. Sue Wynne (Head Employment and Skills LCC) Young people at the margins in Leeds city context: inclusive growth, employment and skills strategies in practice


3.20. Prof. Sarah Irwin (University of Leeds) Summary of day, prompts for plenary  

3.30. Plenary: All speakers and Q and A / discussion from floor; 4.00. Next steps

4.15. Close



For further details please see the LSSI events page


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When & Where

Civic Hall
Calverley Street
LS1 1UR Leeds
United Kingdom

Friday, 29 March 2019 from 09:00 to 16:15 (GMT)

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The event is supported by the Leeds Social Sciences Institute, University of Leeds (

and Leeds City Council

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