On 30 April, the Deputy Prime Minister announced a package of measures to help
address youth unemployment and homelessness. These include a new Youth Engagement
Fund of over £16m over three years to tackle the attainment gap and reduce the number
of young people who become NEET (not in education, employment or training) using
social impact bonds (SIBs).
The new Youth Engagement Fund will build on the existing DWP Innovation Fund to bring
together ‘what works’ evidence alongside external social investment to fund
innovative preventative interventions that will improve outcomes for young people.
The Fund will test the extent to which a payment by results approach involving social
investors can drive improved outcomes for young people. It will also engage local
stakeholders through local financial contributions to projects; support the
development of the social investment market by building the capacity of social
enterprises and charities; and contribute to the evidence base for the increased use
of social impact bonds.
The Youth Engagement Fund will pay for positive education and employment outcomes
achieved by projects that support disadvantaged young people between the ages of 14
and 17 across areas of England, excluding those geographical areas covered by the
Round 2 Innovation Fund Contracts.
Vulnerable young people are a diverse group with a variety of different needs. A
range of factors are associated with a greater risk of becoming NEET, including low
attainment, truancy, exclusion, teenage parenthood and having a learning difficulty
and/or disability. It is expected that Youth Engagement Fund bids will focus on the
most disadvantaged young people rather than those who spend a short time NEET whilst
in transition between other activities.
We are seeking Youth Engagement Fund proposals from Social Investment Partnerships
comprising one or more Investor and one or more Delivery Body and one or more ‘Co-
Commissioner’ (i.e. local body con