NEWS15 June 2021

Youth peer research training programme formed

Charities News People UK Youth

UK – Communities research body the Young Foundation, youth employment not-for-profit Youth Futures Foundation and the Mohn Westlake Foundation have launched a social research project to help address youth unemployment.

Young people

The Kickstart Researchers project will see 30 unemployed young people be trained as peer researchers and investigate issues that affect them and their peers.

The project has been funded through the Kickstart Scheme, a government fund to help 16 to 24-year-olds enter work placements.

The first phase of the programme will see the peer researchers undertake research in their local areas, and examine the strengths and weaknesses of their communities.

There will also be research commissioned by the Future Voices Group, a group of 13 youth ambassadors who advocate for young people in England on employment issues.

A third phase of the project will see the peer researchers encouraged to undertake a research project on an issue that is important to them.

The project hopes to document the lived experiences of a further 450 young people through the project.

Once the peer researchers have been trained, they will remain part of the Young Foundation’s peer research network.

Helen Goulden, chief executive at the Young Foundation, said: “We know that the social research sector is nowhere near as diverse as it should be – and this scheme has opened up an entirely new channel to bring more diverse talent into the sector.

“My hope is that this is the start of something much bigger – and I want to publicly thank our first cohort Kickstart Researchers for bringing so much energy and dynamism to the Young Foundation.”

Anna Smee, chief executive at Youth Futures Foundation, said: “We’re committed to identifying what works and delighted to be working with young people from diverse backgrounds to generate the evidence.

“I look forward to following the young researchers’ journey and building on our understanding of how to make the youth employment system work better for them.”