National education campaign launches to help young people develop skills for work

Believe in Young People image hi res

“What do you want to do when you leave school?” is a question to which most young people don’t know how to work out the best answer based on their skills.  Do they follow in the footsteps of their family and friends, fall into whatever opportunity presents itself first or are they destined to become part of the 12.7% of UK NEETS*?  A new nationwide campaign launched 30 September by youth education and employment charity Believe in Young People (BiYP),, is aiming to help 700,000 more 11- 18 year olds understand and develop their key skills and behaviours to prepare them for future employment and guide them into a fulfilling career.

Tanja Kuveljic, chief executive at BiYP, explains, “BiYP works to instil belief in young people and enables them to reach their true potential by progressing their skills and behaviours from year 7 upwards. We inspire and inform future career choices by bringing the world of work into the curriculum and connecting young people to the working world through real life experiences. Our programme** gives young people the best possible opportunity to be employed in a suitable role which will maximise their potential and ultimately reduce youth unemployment.

“In 2014/15 our impact with young people included a 32% tracked improvement in the progression of their skills and behaviours*** with suitable jobs and apprenticeships secured.  Results also included a number of our students making a successful transition into employment with our national employer partners.  These businesses have worked hard to connect their community investment work with schools into a structured, sustainable talent and recruitment solution.  Our approach has been to simplify and join up best practice between local employers and schools while focusing on the learner at all times.  Now, we want to make sure that the number of work-ready young people matches the demand at both a local and national level.


“We are inviting more schools and colleges to join us as partners in the charity by registering their students and integrating the programme onto their curriculum, which will improve and measure student progression and destination outcomes. This expansion is being made in partnership with our national employer partners - such as Costa, Hilton Worldwide, Premier Inn, Babylon, Jurys Inn and Mitchells & Butlers - who, through their local sites, are committed to investing in their communities and growing future talent to ensure those young people who start a career with them progress into future managers and leaders across all disciplines.”

Hospitality work experience through Believe in Young People


Paul McIntyre Assistant Head at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in London says, “Joining the BiYP programme and securing an apprenticeship at Hilton Worldwide was transformative for our student Mollie and we hope, moving forward, it will transform the lives of many more of our students.  The BiYP programme not only makes integrating employability into the curriculum a streamlined process – saving on valuable time and resources – it also enables us to track student employability and skills development and gain destination data through the BiYP portal. When it comes to meeting Ofsted requirements, instant access to such information is invaluable.  Too many employers struggle to recruit young people with workplace skills and experience on their CV. Together, with BiYP’s extensive programme, we can change this by preparing students for the world of work from Year 7 upwards.”

Kirk Hallam Community Academy student Evie shares her experience, “Without spending time with an employer, you can’t prove to them that you’d make a great employee. Before the placement, I don’t think I was ‘job ready’, but now I am. I think all young people should be given an opportunity like this to develop themselves.”

Seymour Pearman, Partnership Manager for the National Apprenticeship Service, adds, “It’s increasingly important for young people to be exposed to the world of work and with its new approach, Believe in Young People is able to build a crucial bridge between schools, colleges and employers.  By embedding its programme into the curriculum,  the holistic development of young people becomes a simple and joined up activity: as important as they are, it’s not just about exams, it’s about enabling young people in making informed choices about the best options for them to progress into a future career which fulfils them.”

Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, adds, “Education should be about more than getting people through exams.  It’s about ensuring that all young people leave education and training with a well-rounded mix of employability skills ready for the workplace.  Too often we’re told that 16 to 18-year-olds lack social skills, such as knowing how to dress appropriately, when entering the workplace, but the most effective way to learn is to see it first-hand.  Further education and sixth form colleges are committed to providing high-quality technical and professional education, and working with employers and other partners is central to this.”


Tanja Kuveljic, CEO at Believe in Young People, says; “We are delighted to support the BHA to inspire and connect young people with relevant opportunities in the hospitality sector.  In 2014 – 15, our impact included a 32% increase in skills and behaviours progression to help develop young people to become employable future talent.

"This partnership is a great example of how we are committed to genuinely join up high quality services at a local level helping to connect young people with relevant employment. Our hospitality employer partners include Costa, Hilton Worldwide, Premier Inn, Mitchells & Butler, Jurys Inn and Babylon and together with BHA, we have developed a work-ready, talent pipeline.  This work was also supported by JCP who connected young people from their networks to the BiYP Programme via the BHC events. In 2014-15, 79% of BiYP students were evaluated by our employer partners as being suitable for the hospitality sector with 63% of students assessed as potential future employees.

“In 2015-16 our integrated programme will be delivered in more schools and colleges and with over 2,000 local hospitality sites across the country helping to support the Hospitality sector with its growth targets.

“By challenging traditional methods of careers education, community engagement and recruitment, we've created a new approach to youth employment by bringing together local partners across the country including, schools, colleges, employers and organisations such as BHA and JCP to instil a belief in young people about their future. We are delighted to working with them and thank all of our partners for their support and commitment to our cause.”


BiYP is building future talent for all sectors who offer employment opportunities for young people. The results so far have proven that the quality of the young people in the BiYP programme talent pipeline are more engaged, less likely to leave and more likely to be promoted to the next level, reducing employee turnover by 12%.  In addition, 80% of BiYP young people during 2014 - 5 were measured and assessed by BiYP employer partners as being suitable for employment: a 29% year on year improvement.

Sandra Kelly, Whitbread’s Head of Education, says, “Working with BiYP has had a positive impact on our talent development and recruitment activities. We work with a number of agencies and charities to ensure we are creating the right opportunities for young people within our business and the tailored nature of BiYP’s programme helps us get some really great candidates coming to us for work experience placements – many of whom go on to join our apprenticeship scheme. Apprentices add tremendous value to our business with around a third promoted to management roles within 2 years, whilst turnover of apprentices is 45% lower than the average turnover in our business."

Russel Hartland Programme Manager at Costa comments, “Everything from the school ‘Inspire’ events and employer visits, to work related lesson plans and structured work experience placements have enabled us to connect with young people in a way we were previously unable to. The BiYP programme has a positive impact on youth unemployment and helps support students who leave school inadequately prepared for work and helps them add much-needed real-life experiences to their CV.”


Ms Kuveljic concludes, “By challenging traditional methods of careers education, community engagement and recruitment, we’ve created a new approach to youth employment leading to a brighter economic future. We know that the overwhelmingly positive feedback we get is the result of the integrated approach we take to preparing each individual for their dream role. The unique skills and behaviour mapping and assessments which personalise each journey to employment are what will help us make our vision of all young people in a suitable career a reality.”


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