Summit Update

On October 20th a follow-up meeting to the International Youth Job Creation Summit was held in the House of Commons in London. The meeting heard from Jeremy Lefroy MP on the World Bank’s evolving position and from David Woollcombe on meetings with the ILO and the European Commission. Janne Geurts, the director of the Summit, provided an update on the progress that has been made post-Summit and outlined future plans.

The meeting then divided into two separate task forces  that took the next steps on tackling youth unemployment across UK and International levels.

International Task Force

Discussions of how to shape the International youth job creation policy landscape centered around two broad areas of common agreement; the pressing needs for educational reform and improved access to start-up capital. While a broad consensus identified these themes as critical a number of different arguments were posited as to what future progress should look like.

Educational Reform

Starting with educational reform – the broad strokes consensus was that the worlds of business and education needed to work in a more harmonious fashion. Suggestions of how to bring this to pass included;

  • incorporating entrepreneurship into education

  • embedding business skills within a modern curriculum

  • running schools as if they were businesses

  • skills matching

In undertaking such reform it was cautioned against expecting every student to emerge as a future entrepreneur. It was argued that to sidestep this eventuality that a curriculum for life should be developed – one where the core principles of business would be ingrained in the educational system and supplement the teaching of “classic” subjects.

Access to Capital

Another recurring theme urged the easing of restrictions limiting access to start-up capital. On this topic suggestions included;

  • Replicating the UK’s Start-up Loans programme abroad

  • The wider replication of Dfid’s Bank Guarantee scheme

UK Task Force

Discussions centered on;

  • How to bridge the information gap that isolates service providers from youth

  • The pressing need for an education system that is fit for purpose

  • Identifying easy yet progressive steps that can be taken

In order to accelerate progress several proposals were made;

  • Involve more young people in the process

  • Draft an accessible one-page “policy-proposal” template

  • Draft a Mission, Vision and Values document

  • Identify areas where collaboration could take place

  • Gain political influence