Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language
I am delighted to announce the publication of the updated guidance on the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework. Originally introduced to ensure more young people progress into education, employment or training when they finish school age education, the Framework is now being expanded to include the prevention of youth homelessness. The Framework supports young people to find the right pathway to meet their needs and build on their strengths. Underpinning the delivery of the Framework we need real collaboration between partners - local authorities, Careers Wales, Working Wales, schools, post-16 education and training providers, the voluntary youth work sector - and a sense of shared accountability.
We know that collaborative working, tailored support and resources through the Framework makes a real difference in our young people’s lives, including young people who face additional barriers or those who are at risk of living in poverty.
The early identification of young people from age 11 to 18 who are at risk of disengaging from education, employment or training, or of becoming homeless, is a key part of the Framework. The Framework offers those young people support and opportunities for them to achieve their goals. It allows us collectively to understand young people’s needs, put appropriate support or provision in place and monitor and encourage their progression.
The Framework helps us tackle the impact of poverty on educational attainment, by helping re-engage young people and raise their aspirations. Together with the Young Person’s Guarantee, it contributes towards our national milestones, including the milestone of ensuring at least 90% of 16 to 24 year olds are in education, employment, or training by 2050.
The Framework recognises the link between numbers of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), homelessness and poor mental health. To support our young people’s mental health, the partners who help deliver the Framework can harness existing emotional and mental well-being services and resources to make a real difference to the lives of our young people.
We acknowledge the difficult times currently faced by young people, and those who work hard to support them, including the impact of the pandemic, the cost of living crisis and the impact of leaving the European Union. I share others’ concerns about the loss of EU funding for projects that have supported young people at risk of disengaging or who are NEET. Under the UK Government’s replacement scheme, the Shared Prosperity Fund, we are left with a significant funding gap.
It is during these challenging times we are seeking to strengthen the Framework to ensure:
- when young people finish school age education, that more of them progress to a destination that is right for them, whether that is education, employment, training or self-employment (including by taking up opportunities under our Young Persons Guarantee)
- young people are prevented from becoming homeless
- young people’s emotional mental health and well-being is improved because they feel that they are doing something that is meaningful to them, and where they feel they are on the right path.
I am proud of our cross-government approach to strengthening the Framework, and the extensive collaboration that has taken place to develop this new guidance, involving my own portfolio and the portfolios of other Ministerial colleagues: the Minister for Economy, the Minister for Climate Change, the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing.
This new guidance is timely, as it sets out an approach to help make Wales a second chance nation, where we work together to prevent homelessness and poverty. The Framework will help us achieve this aim, so our children are supported and able to thrive, and we break cycles of intergenerational deprivation to have a far reaching, positive impact.
View the Overview.
View the Handbook.