Episode 09

LAURA-jane rawlings, CEO youth employment uk

Why Laura-Jane?

From the moment that I met LJ during my time working at EY I was captivated by her passion for helping young people to become the best version of themselves, no matter their background, and how she uses her voice to lobby those ‘in power’ showing them how youth engagement needs to be done.

About Laura-Jane

Laura-Jane is a passionate campaigner for youth employment and the rights for all young people to access employment and have their voices heard on the issues that affect them. Laura-Jane believes that it is for all of us to create a youth friendly society so that young people can fulfil their potential.

Laura-Jane founded Youth Employment UK in 2012, believing that there was a need to put young people at the heart of youth employment policy and services on a local and national level. Youth Employment UK is a not-for-profit, social enterprise that now supports more than 60,000 young people, employers, educators, third sector organisations and policy colleagues every month, fulfilling its core objectives:

● To give young people a voice and empower them to be more prepared for the world of work

● To help organisations be better equipped to support young people and adopt Youth Friendly Principles

● To ensure that government policy is geared towards the real needs of young people

Recognised as a leading youth employment expert Laura-Jane provides support, insight and expertise to many groups such as the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Employment, Pearson Skills and Apprenticeship Group, The Inspirational Learning Group Enterprise Education and Employability Expert Group, DWP ESF Committees, she also supports the work of the Cabinet Office Inclusive Economy Partnership and the DCMS Youth Charter.

Laura-Jane is a Board Member of the Youth Futures Foundation and has been a secondary school governor for 6 years. Laura-Jane has worked on a number of consultative projects with organisations such as the Department for Culture Media and Sport, Cambridge Local Authority, Northamptonshire Learning Partnership, Chilled Food Association, PiXL and WorldSkills UK.

Laura-Jane has represented Youth Employment UK through a number of media outlets including BBC Breakfast, Channel 4 News, BBC Radio 4, FE News, Personnel Today and others.

Laura-Jane's story covers:

  • how growing up in Kettering, Northamptonshire, influenced her early work experiences

  • the moment a new career in recruitment inspired the foundations of Youth Employment UK

  • why she thinks work experience is a great way for young people to develop their employability skills

  • why glass ceilings often seen as barriers to social mobility were made to be broken

  • career highlights so far as a CEO

  • the importance of support communities in striking a work-life balance

Find out more about Youth Employment UK here.

Connect with Laura-Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.