Too many young people leave school without the qualifications and skills they need to succeed. As part of Born to Be, Deutsche Bank is supporting the Centre for Social Justice to put forward new solutions for an education system that gives all young people the best start in life.
From the homework clubs and afterschool classes run by sports clubs as part of sporteducate, to projects like Design Ventura that develop vocational skills, education is at the heart of Deutsche Bank’s Born to Be youth engagement programme. The bank’s strategy is to improve the employment prospects of young people by building up the skills, confidence and aspirations they need for success in life before they leave school.
Influencing public policy is part of the Born to Be mission. Deutsche Bank has begun a partnership with social policy think tank the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) to tackle one of the root causes of the youth unemployment problem – educational underachievement.
While educational achievement can offer young people a route out of deprivation, failure can see them trapped there. And underachievement limits more than one future. Studies show that leaving school with few or no meaningful qualifications perpetuates disadvantage, as parents are less likely to be able to support the learning of their own children.
According to Department for Education figures, two out of every five pupils do not achieve the minimum expectation of five GCSE passes above grade C including Maths and English. In September 2013, the CSJ published research into the causes of this educational failure. It found that the factors that help determine success or failure for young people today include their family background, where they live, what they are taught in school and how much support they get outside of it.
The next step is to develop policy recommendations that can inform the debate on education in the lead up to the next General Election in 2015. In consultation with politicians, academics, school leaders and grass roots charities that deal with the consequences of educational failure every day, CSJ will propose practical reforms to the education system so the most disadvantaged in our society enjoy a greater share in its prosperity.
Employability is one of many areas where Deutsche can share first-hand experience. “Good policy is built on a wide range of experience, so it’s very helpful for us to hear the employer’s viewpoint Deutsche Bank can provide. Schools need to understand the skills and attitudes that employers expect young people to bring into the workplace,” says CSJ Researcher Lee Davis.
The CSJ’s policy proposals will be published in Autumn 2014. Lareena Hilton, Deutsche Bank’s Head of Communications and CSR in the UK, says: “Preventing youth unemployment begins with making sure every young person receives the best possible education. That goes beyond qualifications. We want this partnership, and the engagement with policy makers it will allow, to result in policies that prepare our young people for all the challenges and opportunities they will face in life.”
To read the Centre for Social Justice report on the causes of educational failure, click here.