Through the Looking Glass: Young People, Work and the Transition between Education and Employment in a post-Brexit UK
Ellison, M. (2017) Through the Looking Glass: Young People, Work and the Transition between Education and Employment in a post-Brexit UK. Journal of Social Policy, 46(4), pp. 675-698.
The prospect of a profound transformation in the relationship between the UK and the European Union has raised a range of economic, social and political concerns (Dhingra et al., 2016; Booth et al., 2015; Irwin, 2015; Ebell and Warren, 2016). Whilst the ultimate shape of a negotiated post-Brexit settlement is uncertain, the potential loss or reduction in access to EU funding streams, educational mobility, EU labour market access, and changes to employment rights and regulations will impact significantly upon young people across the UK. Underlining this, the transition between education and employment has been evidenced as a period when young people experience increased risk of poverty and social exclusion (MacDonald, 2011; Furlong and Cartmel, 2004; Ellison, 2014; ILO, 2016). This article provides an analysis of the role of EU funding streams and operational programmes directed at young people's transitions between education and employment across the UK. The co-ordinated use of EU funding instruments aimed at rebalancing economic and social inequalities between wealthier and poorer regions and groups within the EU is evidenced as improving labour market outcomes for young people living in the most disadvantaged regions of the UK. In light of this, the article contends that future post-Brexit UK governments will need to develop redistributive investment strategies within coherent policy architectures and inclusive forms of governance to ensure the continued delivery of operational programmes for young people which are relevant, effective and sustainable at a local level.