In May 2021, the team submitted evidence to the House of Lords Parliamentary Inquiry on youth unemployment. You can read our submission here. We highlight that young parents are a seldom heard voice in considerations of youth unemployment and that there is a lack of evidence about how young parents are affected by policy interventions that seek to alleviate its causes and impacts. Based on findings from Following Young Fathers, Following Young Fathers Further and Linzi’s PhD research on young parents and housing, we note that while young fathers have strong aspirations for accessing secure employment, they are more likely to be challenged in accessing the labour market and disadvantaged by complex education, labour market and welfare systems. They may also face additional challenges in navigating inflexible and expensive childcare systems. In the submission, we recommend that young parents should be a key target group for future labour market interventions and highlight the value of retaining and making available, flexible and free access to IT resources via libraries, job shops or specialist support services. We also highlight the importance of father-inclusive interventions and support groups like the North East Young Dads and Lads and the Young Dads Collective that not only tackle and address social isolation but also support young parents to gain the skills they need to engage in the labour market.
The committee also accepted digital contributions from young people themselves so we submitted a short 2-minute video featuring Will, one of the young dads we have been working with, who discusses his experiences of the youth labour market and his engagements with the welfare system. Hear more about Will’s experiences here: