Young people facing disadvantage have experienced particular unemployment challenges through the pandemic and it is crucial that employers create jobs and workplaces where they can develop and build long-term careers.

This evidence review is published in partnership with Youth Futures Foundation. It builds on the previous review on recruiting disadvantaged young people, to give evidence-based answers to these questions: 

  • What drives disadvantaged young people to leave or stay in their jobs?
  • What can employers do to retain disadvantaged young people?
  • What can employers do to build inclusive work environments for disadvantaged young people?

See the practice summary for the main insights and practical recommendations for action. 

See the scientific summary for our methodology and technical information on the research and study references.

Retaining disadvantaged young people in work: An evidence review | Practice summary

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Retaining disadvantaged young people in work: An evidence review | Scientific summary

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PDF document 3.8 MB

Key recommendations

With every job opening, there are opportunities to reduce disadvantage instead of reinforce it and, at the same time, find new talent that adds value to your organisation. Employers can take action by doing the following:

  • Assess the key factors that drive employee turnover – such as their ability to cope with demands, job benefits, opportunities to progress and social interactions –  and make improvements where needed. 
  • To improve retention of young employees from ethnic minorities, use surveys and discussions to understand their social interactions.
  • Use structured processes in assessments for promotion and development opportunities in order to minimise bias.
  • Build managers’ awareness of their role in fostering inclusion in their teams and develop behaviours and leadership styles that are associated with inclusive climates.
  • Provide diversity training to foster genuine change in the organisation, rather than it being merely a compliance exercise.

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