Youth Charities Unite: Tackling Post-Pandemic Barriers

Leading Youth charities join forces to solve the biggest post-pandemic barriers for young people

Speakers for Schools, UK Youth and Young Enterprise come together in a historic partnership to launch, ‘Youth Card’, the social mobility app packed with thousands of career and life preparing opportunities.

Leading social mobility charities Speakers for Schools, UK Youth and Young Enterprise have joined forces to solve the biggest post-pandemic barriers facing young people. Today they are launching Youth Card, a free app that places career preparing opportunities directly into the hands of young people across the UK.

The app aggregates the three charities’ own services, including:

  • Access to the UK Youth network (currently standing at over 7000 youth organisations, providing youth work, outdoor learning and skills development activities.)
  • Young Enterprise’s financial and enterprise programmes to develop skills, confidence and enterprising mindsets that help break down barriers to social mobility.
  • Speakers for Schools’ career programmes, connecting disadvantaged young people to sector leaders through inspirational talks and high-quality work experience opportunities with almost 700 employers.

This means the Youth Card is packed with thousands of mentoring programmes, career guidance, work experience placements, extra-curricular activities, financial education, open access and targeted youth work provision, inspirational career talks as well as a range of discounts with top retailers. It is free to download and available to all young people in the UK aged 11 to 25.

Separate research from the IFS and Resolution Foundation published last week revealed the major concerns amongst young people in the UK about finding a job and the toll on their mental health after facing the brunt of the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Baroness Barran, Minister for Civil Society and Youth, comments: “The last 18 months have been difficult for all of us, but we know that young people have found it hard to access the continued support they need to learn and grow.

“It is wonderful to see three of our leading youth charities coming together to launch the Youth Card which opens up a whole new world of real opportunity, helping our young people get back on track and accessing the career guidance and support they need to succeed.”

Robert Peston, Founder of Speakers for Schools said “Perhaps the biggest post-Covid-19 challenge is to re-energise young people, help them develop relevant skills, direct them towards fulfilling employment. Speakers for Schools is proud to play its part. Youth Card is a potentially important contribution”.
Andrew Law, Chair of Speakers for Schools said: “We are proud that UK Youth, Young Enterprise and Young Scot are partnering with us on this exciting new venture, and I would like to thank them for their continued efforts and support. Working together to launch Youth Card means that we are able to support more young people as they start considering their future careers.”

Jason Elsom, Chief Executive Officer, Speakers for Schools, comments:
“I am incredibly excited that Speakers for Schools was awarded the licence by the European Youth Card Association to roll out Youth Card across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and I welcome our strategic partners, UK Youth and Young Enterprise along with Scotland’s Young Scot Card who are getting behind our Youth Card App to collectively offer the largest hub of national resources to improve the social mobility of young people at a time when they need us the most.”

Removing barriers to work experience

Leading employers such as Spotify, BP, Bank of England, Google, Virgin Atlantic, M&C Saatchi, L’Oréal, PwC, NHS, British Airways, National History Museum, BBC, Marie Curie, National Portrait Gallery are signed up to offer work experience accessible through Youth Card, amongst 100,000 other available work experience placements, insight days, CV training, volunteering courses with leading employers and organisations rolling out over 2021/22.

While all opportunities available are currently virtual, once the current working from home guidance alters, the app will begin to offer in-person opportunities at a local and national level too.

European Discount Card

Youth Card also offers valuable discounted services in partnership with a national network of UK businesses, including 60% off Asics, Under Armour, Paul Smith, White Company and more through Bicester Village, 25% off Collins revision books, 20% off travel with National Express, £100 off the Camp EuroTrip programme, 25% of Young Driver driving lessons, 25% off Illamasqua and 15% off Runner’s Need amongst many others and will include thousands of discounts Europe wide, thanks to our partnership with the European Youth Card Association.

The app is available to download today from the App Store here and Google Play here.

Sharon Davies, CEO, Young Enterprise, comments: “We are thrilled to have partnered with Speakers for Schools and UK Youth to launch the Youth Card, enabling more young people to access developmental opportunities that are both relevant and meaningful to them. Through our programme delivery we know just how important it is that young people can access opportunities to apply their skills and develop crucial enterprising mindsets, and Youth Card is a huge step forward in young people taking control of this for themselves.”

Ndidi Okezie, CEO, UK Youth, comments: “It’s time to meet young people exactly where they are, by placing a diverse range of opportunities, support, and activities into their hands. That equity of quality provision is the promise of Youth Card and that is why we are delighted to be partnering with Speakers for Schools and Young Enterprise on this game changing digital initiative. We are inviting youth organisations to add their services to the platform, so that together we can ensure young people, schools, employers and government alike, are aware of the opportunities that exist for young people in their local area.”

To find out more about Youth Card, visit: