PLA submits evidence to the Youth Unemployment Committee

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24 November 2021 compress image scaled

In March this year, the House of Lords Youth Unemployment Committee launched a call for evidence for its inquiry into the available and essential education and skills for people aged 16 to 24 in England. At PLA, we used our collective voice to advocate for those in, and leaving, custody.

The report by the Youth Unemployment Committee, ‘Skills for every young person‘, is going to be published on Friday 26 November.


It is vital that young adults in contact with the criminal justice system are considered in the youth unemployment inquiry for two key reasons:

  1. 18 to 24 year olds are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. Despite representing less than 10% of the general population, this age group makes up 30-40% of the criminal justice caseload and 16% of the prison population.
  2. There are poor outcomes in education and employment for this age group in custody and on release. Young people aged 18 to 24 have the highest reoffending rates, with 75% of young adults reoffending within two years.


The Justice Select Committee has published two reports in the last five years on the treatment of young adults in the criminal justice system, both of which have criticised the MoJ for its failure to adequately address the needs of young adults as a distinct group.


Our submission covers the following topics:

  • Education in prisons during the Covid-19 lockdown
  • Challenges for young people leaving prison and seeking employment – specific needs, digital technology and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
  • Curriculum and access
  • Funding for prison education
  • Careers advice in prisons
  • University, further education and business support
  • Apprenticeships and release on temporary licence


Read the full evidence submission by PLA

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