Most young people in Salford successfully participate in education and training and make a positive transition into further learning or employment, but there are still significant numbers who do not fulfil their potential and fail to gain skills and qualifications that help them to succeed and progress into the world of work.

Salford has the highest proportion of young people aged 16-17 not in education, employment or training (NEET) in Greater Manchester and one of the highest rates nationally.

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has also been particularly severe for young people, with 2,825 Salford residents aged 18-24 now claiming unemployment related benefits, more than double the rate in March 2020.

A strategic approach to increasing the participation and attainment of young people is required to ensure that young people progress into further learning or work. Salford’s approach is outlined in Salford’s NEET Reduction Strategy, which provides the framework for co-ordinated, partnership activity across the city.

How can you help support young people?

Partners and employers can help to raise the aspirations of the city’s young people in a variety of ways and these are summarised below:

  • School/College activity – meaningful employer encounters that are more than one-off visits/talks have more impact.  Offering a series of sessions, with a particular group/subject area, usually result in better engagement from students and can help to bring to life what they learn at school or college.
  • Video based resources – these are very useful as they can be reused over and over and much easier for schools/colleges and providers to include in their teaching.  These can easily sit with a wider set of activities as outlined above.
  • Employability programmes for school and college leavers that are specific to your industry – you can link with specific schools/college/providers to develop these.
  • Work related visits/placements – this can be traditional work experience (one or two weeks or shorter maybe 2-3 days), or could be group or individual visits to your organisation for a tour and chat with staff across the organisation.
  • Traineeships and apprenticeships – these are clearly longer in duration and more of a commitment, including a commitment to pay wages for apprentices (although there are some national grants which can help offset some of this), but can be very positive experiences and can provide an opportunity to really change a young person’s life. If you have upcoming vacancies, work with local schools/colleges/providers to help identify young people and give them sessions on what the apprenticeship involves, what you are looking for in applicants etc., this can help to create much higher quality applications form local residents.
  • Teacher and tutor support – if you work in an industry that is growing or changing, or perhaps have a skills gap, by providing staff briefings/sessions to get them to understand the current world of work is very important so they can take this back to the classroom.
  • Employment opportunities for those older young people, who are looking to get back into work – young people age 18-24 have been particularly affected by the impact of COVID and therefore any opportunities for sustainable employment are crucial to economic recovery.
  • Youth friendly recruitment practices – by tweaking how you recruit for apprentices and other job roles you can reach a wider set of talent – details can be found here of the easy things you can do.

Further details are available through the following link – Employer ‘ask’ • Salford City Council

Across all of these areas there are specific target groups which the City council, educational institutions and services have identified as priority.  If you are able to work with these partners to develop targeted activity and interventions, this will have greater impact.

Salford are also developing ‘Youth Hubs’ which aim to be a one-stop shop for all things skills and support for young people age 16-24. By engaging with those hubs you will be able to maximise your resources by understanding the local need and any targeted support that’s needed.  This is where you can make a real impact, contact sarah.scanlan@salford.gov.uk for further details and to discuss.