Dormant accounts youth fund - Statement of intent

Joe Montgomery has been appointed Founding Chair of the Youth Futures Foundation, the Dormant Assets Youth Organisation. Mr Montgomery will lead a non-executive board responsible for setting the strategy and governing social purpose.

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The information below outlines work carried out in 2018 to aid the establishment of DAYO - now Youth Futures Foundation - which is expected to become fully operational during 2019.

The statement of intent is also available as a PDF document


On 9 August 2018, the Government announced that it will fund the establishment of a new youth organisation responsible for deploying £90 million of funding from dormant accounts.

The Dormant Assets Youth Organisation will consider bold approaches to investing in long-term solutions, providing an opportunity to properly test and evaluate different interventions over time, leaving a legacy of increased youth employment in target areas, a decreased black and minority ethnic youth employment gap nationally and a solid base for targeted interventions supporting the most disadvantaged young people.

This Statement of Intent sets out the plans for placing young people in England at the centre of the Youth Futures Foundation's actions to help tackle the barriers to education, employment and training that many of them face.

Statement of intent

The Youth Futures Foundation will invest in programmes that help young people facing barriers to work to reach their full potential. Its intended focus has been shaped by The National Lottery Community Fund, in collaboration with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), through an engagement process which has young people at its heart.

The programme design will be informed by learnings from the government’s Race Disparity Audit and evidence of the barriers, which hold young people back and what works to overcome them, including The National Lottery Community Fund’s Talent Match programme.[1]

Young people will have a chance to work with employers, educators, youth and community organisations to create programmes that work for them, their local communities and the businesses who will benefit from their talents.

What problem are we trying to address?

The government’s Race Disparity Audit highlights clear inequality of opportunity for young people from different backgrounds, or growing up in different parts of England. Data published on the Ethnicity facts and figures website shows:

  • In the 16 to 24 age group, people from Other ethnic groups were almost twice as likely to be unemployed (23%) as people from the White group (12%) – the largest gap of any age group, at 11 percentage points.
  • The percentage of people aged 16-24 who were economically inactive varied widely, with 68% of Asian other young people being economically inactive, compared to 59% of the Indian group, 56% for the Pakistani and Bangladeshi group, 47% for the mixed group, and 35% for White British young people.
  • From 2014 to 2016, 16.2% of Pakistani 16-24 year olds were not in employment, education or training (NEET) compared to 6.2% of Chinese young people. Although the number of young people, aged 16-24 who are NEET has fallen in recent years, they still make up 11.2% of that population, or 794,000 people[2] and come from all ethnic backgrounds.

Young people face a range of barriers to employment: mental and physical ill health, caring responsibilities, substance misuse, homelessness, criminal convictions, and being a care leaver can all significantly increase a young person’s chances of becoming ‘NEET’[3][4][5].

These barriers can have a lasting effect, with young carers and those with physical or mental ill health accounting for two thirds of young people who are not in training, education or employment for long periods[6]. We also know there can be a ‘scarring effect’ for these young people, as they are more likely to spend longer out of work throughout their life and be paid less when in work[7].

These barriers can affect young people across all stages of their transition to work[8].

Best approach and how the £90m could be spent?

The best programmes are tailored to the individual, holistic, and joined-up in their approach. Key elements of any programme should include a focus on:

  • Circumstances such as health, access to transport and digital tools, and caring responsibilities.
  • Attitudes, emotional capability, and employability skills.
  • Qualifications, experience and tailored career management.
  • Strong links to employers to provide routes into work.

Findings from Talent Match[9] show that one-to-one personalised support with dedicated coaches, focussed on aspirations and goals (not only on getting them into a job), is what attracts young people to the programme.

The £90 million from dormant accounts presents an opportunity to work in partnership with experts and young people in their communities to develop locally designed programmes, which empower and support them on the road to fulfilling their potential.

The core principles that will underpin this programme include:

  • Placing young people at the heart of designing and on-going delivery of programmes
  • Encouraging local solutions, recognising regional and racial disparity and variation
  • Focusing on long-term, sustained improvement to the local support already in place
  • Inspiring new partnerships between business, education and youth organisations to build a resilient and sustainable infrastructure of support, which delivers results for young people
  • Exploring scope for re-payable finance and match funding, particularly the use of social impact bonds, as a means of enhancing impact
  • Taking a strategic and evidence-based approach – we will: learn from Talent Match, European Social Fund programmes and other existing provision; consider this work alongside the youth contract, apprenticeships levy, careers strategy, and opportunity areas programme; and use this evidence to develop sustainable, embedded, solutions.

Visit for the entire Civil Society Strategy.

  • [1] Talent Match is a five-year, £108 million National Lottery funded programme, which supports young people along the road to employment:
  • [2] ONS, UK NEET Oct-Dec 2017, published March 2018
  • [3] Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training’, House of Commons Library (2017)
  • [4] Talent Match (2017).
  • [5] APPG report on Youth Employment: Those Furthest from the Labour Market, 2018
  • [6] Labour Force Survey analysis 2016
  • [7] MacMillan 2012
  • [8] The Journey to Employment framework’, Inspiring Impact (2015)
  • [9] Talent Match (2017).