ERSA, the national membership body for the employment support sector, has been awarded a grant by the Youth Futures Foundation to significantly increase its work to tackle youth unemployment. The funding is in part being offered as a bursary fund for 18 small youth sector organisations to join ERSA and benefit from the resources and collaboration opportunities of the 200-plus-member trade body.
Applications to the fund can be made by any community interest group, charity or small enterprise, however funded, working in communities to support the employment, education or training of 16-25 year-olds. Annual income from employability services should not exceed £249,999. ERSA welcomes applications from organisations working with disadvantaged young people and hopes to award half of the bursaries to BAME-led organisations delivering services to excluded groups. The deadline for applications is 5pm, Wednesday 17 March 2021. Submission information can be found online at https://ersa.org.uk/YEBursary or by emailing email@example.com.
The bursaries were announced as ERSA hosts its first Youth Conference (Monday 22 February: Rising to the Youth Employment Challenge), supported by Youth Futures Foundation.
Elizabeth Taylor, ERSA CEO said:
“We thank the Youth Futures Foundation for investing in our work to strengthen and promote the services available to the UK’s jobseekers, learners and low earners – a huge proportion of which are young people.
“Our grant is already being put to good use: we have established a Kickstart community of more than 470 organisations participating in forums and collaboration events. We are launching a Youth Hub Forum and today, bring together youth commissioners, policy experts and delivery organisations for our inaugural Youth Conference.
We are delighted to now offer this bursary fund to help broaden our reach and gain new insights into the innovative work being undertaken with young people in local communities. Never has it been more important that the work of these life altering organisations is appropriately supported and shared.”
The Youth Futures Foundation was established to find, fund, support and evaluate programmes which help young people to move into meaningful work. Unemployment amongst 16-24-year olds is currently four times as high as any other age group; those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds face the biggest challenge in getting a job.
Youth Futures Foundation’s Chief Executive, Anna Smee, commented:
“We are delighted to support ERSA, and indirectly its members, in its work around youth employability. Youth Futures Foundation is committed to a society where all young people have equitable access to good quality jobs, by identifying what works, investing in good practice and initiating new ways of working to ignite systems change. This partnership will support our ambitions and help to deliver our vision.”
The Youth Future Foundation grant is also enabling ERSA to strengthen its infrastructure to ensure its policy research, digital capability, communications, and networks, nimbly respond to and positively steer the course of youth provision.
“Our members are a force for social good,” concludes ERSA’s Elizabeth Taylor. “Youth Future Foundation funding is allowing us to grow and mobilise that movement to effect positive change for young people.”