JPMorgan teams up with Enducation Endowment Foundation to launch £5m initiative help young people's job prospects

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J.P. Morgan and the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) will launch a new £5 million initiative to find effective programmes that offer young people greater access to economic opportunity. This effort aims to improve their attainment in Mathematics and English at GCSE / Level 2, and provide a clearer link between learning and employment and improving their ability to get on effective career pathways.

Achieving a C grade or better in both English and Mathematics GCSE, the UK qualification typically taken by school students aged 14–16, is crucial in enabling young people to progress further in their studies, including higher education or high level apprenticeships, and in finding quality jobs. Since 2014 it has been compulsory for young people who fail to achieve those grades to continue studying those subjects post 16-years old, until they attain the grades.

J.P. Morgan and EEF are inviting proposals and will review the most promising approaches to improve attainment outcomes and employment opportunities for 16-18 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds who have failed to achieve the C grade in English and Maths at GCSE. When the funding round closes, EEF will review and rank all applications with the final decision made by a panel of independent evaluators following meetings with the applicants. EEF will then work with the chosen providers to scale up the successful programmes to optimize impact and have the greatest possible influence on the young peoples’ acquisition of these core skills.

Programmes will be sought from Greater London, the South West and the North of England. The funding round is open from 7th July to 3rd October, 2016 with the first set of grants set to be approved in January 2017.

Applications are expected to fall into one of the below categories:

  • · Employer engagement – Projects testing approaches linked to the practical application of English and Maths
  • · Teaching – Ways to maximize the impact of teacher/tutor and student interactions
  • · Targeted support – Projects testing one-to-one approaches to improve outcomes for students
  • · Communities and parents – Encouragement of wider engagement with peers or parents to help learning

To inform this funding round, the EEF and J.P. Morgan commissioned AlphaPlus to undertake a literature review of recent, high-quality evidence, including international research. As well as identifying where the gaps in the research lie, the review identifies interventions and approaches for which there is existing evidence of having positive impact on young people’s outcomes.

According to the review, utilising technology to motivate students and develop their skills could improve attainment in maths, while peer tutoring is one approach that was found to have a positive impact on English skills.

Hang Ho, Head of Philanthropy for Europe, Middle-East and Africa at J.P. Morgan said: “Possessing the right skills is fundamental to young people’s ability to compete for quality jobs and create stable economic futures. We passionately believe in enabling students to achieve the right credentials for clear pathways to the employment market; Math and English are key to this. Working with EEF, we are identifying best-in-class programmes to dramatically increase the number of young people who have a smoother transition into the job market." 

Sir Kevan Collins, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “Every year, hundreds of thousands of young people are leaving formal education without the qualifications in English and Maths they will need to succeed in life. Those from poorer backgrounds are particularly vulnerable to finding themselves unable to continue their studies or to secure a good quality job. Working with colleagues at J.P. Morgan we are determined to support the post-16 sector in developing well-evidenced programmes to ensure these students can fulfil their potential.” 

Today’s announcement marks the launch of J.P. Morgan’s New Skills for Youth programme in the UK. The global programme, a $75m five year commitment to expanding technical and professional education for young people worldwide and launched in 2016, aims to expand their access economic opportunity. 

This initiative expands and deepens the bank’s existing commitment to workforce development through its global $250m New Skills at Work programme. This aims to identify strategies and support data-driven solutions that help improve labour market infrastructure and develop the skilled workforce globally.

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