Inside London’s Youth Employment Index


A new Youth Opportunity Index, published today by Learning and Work Institute, shows young people in London have higher chances of success than those in other areas of the country – but this still varies depending on where they live in the city.

London is the big winner in the Index, with ten of its boroughs in the top 20 of 150 local authorities across England. This largely reflects outstanding success over recent decades in improving London’s education system. London also scores strongly on employment measures, with its boroughs making up 13 of the twenty local authorities that have the lowest rates of 16-17 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEET).

The London Borough of Sutton ranks as the best overall place for education and employment opportunities for young people in England. Other boroughs top the rankings for individual measures: for example, Redbridge is first for attainment at Level 3 or equivalent, while Harrow comes top for access to higher education.

Despite these successes, there are still some areas for concern. Apprenticeship take-up across London is low, with the proportion dropping below 1% in some boroughs. London boroughs also make up half of the bottom 10 local authorities for youth employment rates.

In some boroughs, the picture of youth opportunities is mixed. Camden, for example, is only third from the bottom on youth employment but tops the rankings for underemployment rates. This suggests that, while there are fewer young people in employment in Camden, the jobs that are available provide enough working hours.

Stephen Evans, chief executive, Learning and Work Institute said:
“Our new Youth Opportunity Index shows that young people’s life chances are directly affected by where they live. This is a basic unfairness and this new report shows where efforts need to be focused.

“The Index shows how education and employment outcomes vary across the country and identifies the key opportunity gaps. We hope that it will help local authorities and others to prioritise their focus and target their policy efforts to ensure all young people get a good start and fair chance in life.”

Rankings of local education authorities in London
LEA Ranking (out of 150)
Sutton 1
Hammersmith and Fulham 4
Redbridge 6
Harrow 7
Kensington and Chelsea 8
Kingston upon Thames 9
Barnet 10
Hounslow 12
Wandsworth 13
Merton 16
Westminster 22
Ealing 24
Richmond upon Thames 25
Bromley 31
Islington 32
Brent 34
Enfield 35
Hackney 38
Southwark 42
Newham 45
Croydon 54
Waltham Forest 56
Camden 58
Havering 59
Lewisham 70
Bexley 75
Greenwich 77
Hillingdon 79
Lambeth 85
Haringey 89
Tower Hamlets 93
Barking and Dagenham 114