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Young people at centre of £90 million scheme to help tackle youth unemployment

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Release date:
19 3 2018

The Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, has today announced plans to put young people at the heart of designing a £90 million scheme to help tackle youth unemployment.

The new £90m youth fund will be invested in programmes which help young people facing barriers to work to reach their full potential. Over the next three months participants, aged 16-24 and from diverse communities, will take centre stage at a variety of events across the country to explain the issues they face, including the inequalities apparent in youth unemployment, and help develop ideas to remove barriers to education, employment and training.

The events will include workshops with local businesses, youth organisations, and health and education experts. Young people will have the opportunity to discuss these issues and inequalities in the sessions, as well as talk about what support they need to prepare them for work. The Big Lottery Fund will also be speaking to businesses to explore potential partnerships and match funding to support the programme development. Surveys on the Big Lottery Fund website will invite youth organisations and young people to participate in the design process.

The design of the programme will also be informed by learning from the Government’s Race Disparity Audit, as well as from the Big Lottery Fund’s current ‘Talent Match’ programme, which works to tackle youth unemployment in 21 areas of England. The work is being led by the Big Lottery Fund, in collaboration with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Education (DfE).

The £90 million youth fund comes from £330 million released from dormant accounts to be spent on good causes that was announced by Government in January this year. The Big Lottery Fund is also working with DCMS to develop a £55 million dormant accounts-funded financial inclusion programme.

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “Young people who face multiple barriers to education, employment or training are best-placed to tell us what needs to change for them. Young people will be at the heart of the process to shape solutions and create a dormant accounts youth fund that works for them by working with employers, educators, youth and community organisations.

Once the engagement phase has taken place, Government Ministers at DCMS will be advised on the options that have been developed for distribution of the funding, decide on their preferred option and issue a direction to Big Lottery Fund about how to proceed. This is in line with the Dormant Bank and Building Society Act 2008. Further information about applying for funding will then be made available on the Big Lottery Fund website in due course. Find out more about the design and engagement phase


Claire Fudge: Claire.fudge@biglotteryfund.org.uk, 0121 345 8856
Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours media contact: 07867 500572

Notes to Editors:

The Big Lottery Fund uses money raised by National Lottery players to help communities achieve their ambitions. From small, local projects to UK-wide initiatives, our funding brings people together to make a difference to their health, wellbeing and environment. Since June 2004 we have awarded £8.5 billion to projects that improve the lives of millions of people.

Dormant Accounts

Dormant accounts are funds that have lain dormant in consumer bank and building society accounts for more than 15 years. The Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act (2008) set up a scheme whereby dormant funds can be transferred by banks on a voluntary basis to a reclaim fund. The Reclaim Fund Ltd. (RFL) maintains a reserve to meet potential reclaims from customers and surplus funds are then transferred to the Big Lottery Fund for distribution to good causes in the UK. Funds are split on a percentage formula set out in legislation between England and the Devolved Regions and a total of more than £360m has been made available since the scheme came into effect in 2011.