Category: News Hero

Celebrating ten years of Movement to Work: CEO Gillian Churchill shares her thoughts

A couple of weeks on from our annual CEO Summit and Youth Employability Awards, I’ve been reflecting on how amazing these events were and how important they are to the Movement and to our network.

Some of my top highlights include the open sharing of experiences – we heard from young people about their employment journeys and the barriers they have faced and overcome with the help of supportive employers, while also hearing from businesses about how they are innovating and adapting to support young people into work. 

We focused on some of the most pertinent issues which young people have told us they care most about – inclusive recruitment practices, how employers engage them as prospective employees and how businesses can best support their changing needs. We looked at some of the potential solutions and actions employers can take. 

We also shared a sneak peek of our forthcoming anniversary campaign content featuring some heroes from across the Movement more on this soon!

The conversation and general buzz in the room throughout the day (not to mention the celebratory atmosphere during the awards!) really stood out for me. People wanted to listen, to share and to learn – with a healthy dose of fun too!

Hearing the amazing stories of our nominees and winners was also a standout moment – this was our opportunity to celebrate young people who are doing great things in their workplace, as well as some wonderful champions of young people. Huge congratulations again to our award winners and all our nominees! 

The events were made even more special as we used the occasion to kick off the charity’s tenth anniversary celebrations. As a Movement, we have helped deliver more than 155,000 opportunities for young people, working with hundreds of individuals and organisations to deliver remarkable experiences. Thank you to every business and partner who has joined us on the journey and helped us to reach this significant milestone. 

Between 2013 and 2020 we reached a major milestone of 100,000 opportunities delivered, and today we are already close to 200,000.  The pace of change is increasing, and this gives me so much hope and pride.

Because, simply, this means we’re helping even more young people to build their confidence, to develop key skills and provide them with quality work experience that will help to equip them for their future.

This really is vital, as there are many more young people out there who need our support; our work is as crucial as ever. 

A final thank you to our sponsors – without your support we couldn’t hold such high quality events – and to all those who attended, contributed and celebrated with us.  

  To read a summary of our panels and discussions, please see here

Take a look at some of the event highlights in the videos below – please share on your channels!

We’ve also got hundreds of fabulous pictures from the event – please reach out to the team to claim your photobooth moment!

 As always, let me know your thoughts and if you’re not a member of the Movement but would like to join, please get in touch.

Connect with Gillian on LinkedIn

Nominees for 2023 MtW Youth Employability Awards

We are absolutely delighted to announce the following nominees for the upcoming MtW Youth Employability Awards on 17th April! The level of nominations this year was exceptional and so my fellow judges and I really had our work cut out!

Huge congratulations to all these incredible nominees, you should all be so proud of yourselves!

2023 MtW Youth Employability Awards – Nominees

Employer of the Year 
  • BAE Systems
  • Department for Transport – Apprenticeship and Early Talent Team 
  • DWP 
  • HMRC – Debt Management Directorate 
  • M&S
  • Tesco 
Mentor of the Year
  • TJ Fielding –  DWP
  • Tom Stephenson –  Springboard UK
  • Liesel Quinn –  Catch22 
  • Anneli Daniels –  Participation People
Partner of the Year 
  • Ambitious About Autism / Clare Caccavone
  • Catch22
  • Springboard
  • DFN Project SEARCH – nominated by Marriott Hotels Ltd
  • Participation People
  • People Plus / Laura Savage
  • The Prince’s  Trust 
  • The Launch Group
  • West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) – Skills Team
Individual Impact Award
  • Laura Addison –  AWS
  • Sharon Braithwaite –  BAE Systems
  • Josie Edmead –  BT
  • Nicky Perkins –  DWP
  • TJ Fielding –  DWP
  • Heather Graham –  M&S
  • Kelly Baldwin –  The Body Shop
Breakthrough Star Award
  • Ellie McGuire –  Accenture
  • Vaibhavi Canacrai –  Accenture
  • Sam Fell –  BAE Systems
  • Josh Lewis –  BAE Systems
  • Eden Lunghy –  Catch22
  • Alfie Southernwood –  DWP
  • Samuel Shaw –  DWP
  • Bethany Illidge –  DWP
  • Michael Timson –  M&S
  • Aaron Fletcher –  M&S
  • Tilly Elliott –  M&S
  • Charlotte Harris –  M&S
  • Zamzam Farah –  M&S
  • Kamila Bukowska –  M&S
  • Khadijak Bibi –  M&S
  • Mamatha Kartha –  M&S
  • Kevin Lennon –  M&S
  • Max Jansson –  Springboard
  • David Bilsland –  Springboard
  • Edward Fox –  Tesco
  • Sam Miles –  Tesco
  • Kayleigh Fosker –  The Body Shop
  • Jamie McDonald –  The Prince’s Trust
Rising Star Award
  • Blessing Folorunso –  Accenture
  • Kierran Kelly –  Accenture
  • Syron Blackman –  Catch22 
  • Gavin Phipps –  DWP
  • Luna Cummings –  M&S
  • Charlotte O’regan –  M&S
  • Dlovan Karim –  M&S
  • Phoebe Bridge –  M&S
  • Chris Fox –  M&S
  • Anna Svietik –  M&S
  • Shula Jenkins –  M&S
  • Michael Vickery –  Marriott Hotels Ltd 
  • Funmilola – Funmi Sosanya –  The Prince’s Trust
  • Gary Graham –  Springboard
  • Ryan Smith –  Tesco
  • Matthias Allen Goll –  United Student Association For Education Inc
Innovator of the Year Award
  • AXA UK 
  • BAE Systems 
  • Vicky Morgan –  Carers Trust
  • London Digital Jobs Hub & Skills Hub – nominated by Generation UK
  • Presenter Crew –  nominated by Health Education England
  • HMRC 
  • Spirax Sarco Engineering
  • Sodexo 
  • Ted Blackwell – nominated by Springboard UK 
MtW Chair’s Legacy Award
    • Accenture
    • BAE Systems 
    • NHS
    • Kevin Jennings – Barclays, nominated by Catch22
    • Jamie Mcdonald –  M&S
Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Anastacia Jamfrey –  BAE Systems
  • Tajay Simpson –  M&S
  • Nathan Pearce –  M&S
  • Ruby Moon–  The Prince’s Trust

Big thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a nomination, it was a privilege to read your stories.

If you haven’t got a ticket yet, please reach out to the team at and someone will try to help.

Looking forward to seeing many of you very soon!


Gillian Churchill
Gillian Churchill  CEO, Movement to Work



Movement to Work’s CEO shares her thoughts on the 2022 Youth Summit

Earlier this month we held our annual Youth Summit in Birmingham. Despite various travel strikes, we were delighted to welcome more than 100 attendees to BT Group’s Three Snowhill office. This included HR, youth outreach and training professionals, alongside 46 young people who are currently job-seeking, in employability programmes, or have overcome barriers to work and are now in employment. 

Against the scenic backdrop of Birmingham city centre and beyond (we had the most amazing views from the 17th floor!), the day was packed with lively and meaningful discussions, with live polling thrown in for good measure. The purpose of the day? To bring people together to look at the reality of the situation and discuss what we can do collectively to work towards a more positive future for young people.

More importantly, the summit provides a platform for young people to share their experiences of job seeking – the highs and the lows. It’s an opportunity to listen and to learn from them, to refresh and deepen our understanding of what a quality job and career means to young people today and how we can best support them on their employment journey. 

Why do we do this? Because young people need us more than ever. In the UK, young people are still nearly three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population and set against the backdrop of a recession, unemployment is expected to rise in the next few years. In the last quarter, there was an increase in the number of young people who were aged 16 to 24 years and not in education, employment or training, with the total currently estimated to be a staggering 724,000. 

Through an all-youth panel session and roundtable discussions, it was humbling to hear first-hand the stories of young people who are trying to find their way in the world of work. What struck me was the openness in which they shared – the challenges they’ve overcome, the challenges they’re currently trying to navigate and their amazing successes too. There’s no mistaking it, the past few years of pandemic lockdowns have seriously impacted our younger generation.

I don’t want to give too much away as the MtW team has distilled the outputs and key discussion points into a summary document which you’ll find a link to below but here are some quick reflections……

There continues to be challenges with how we engage and speak to young people to promote training or employment opportunities. Their challenge to us? Be more creative and don’t be afraid to speak straight. Lose the business lingo and be direct about what opportunities are/entail and more importantly, what your business stands for. This matters. 

Work experience still has a place for young people and for businesses but it suffers from a bit of an image problem. How do we make it more attractive? There are some key ingredients. including ensuring it’s meaningful and provides real experience for the young person, allowing them to add value to the organisation they’re working for. Also, don’t underestimate the impact of buddying a young person up with an employee – this can make an experience all the more positive. 

I’ll stop here as I’d really encourage you to have a read of the report and think about the role you can play in tackling the challenges our young people outline. Here at the Movement we’re considering our next steps, engaging our employer and partner network to share the insights and collectively explore what we can do to help drive change.  

An event of this calibre and size cannot be delivered alone, so I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone who attended, listened and shared so honestly and openly. Particular mention goes to: Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street; David Gaughan from the West Midlands Combined Authority; BT Group; Tesco; The Prince’s Trust and the Department for Work and Pensions for their support and amazing contributions. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts and any comments you have – the conversation doesn’t and can’t stop here – so please get in touch with me or a member of the team. 


To read the summary document, please click here.

Guest Blog: What employers can do to support young people into employment

The transition from education into employment is critical, but often difficult for young people and businesses alike to navigate.

Young people are more qualified and ambitious than ever before. Meanwhile, unfilled vacancies are at a high and employers struggle to recruit and retain the employees they need.

Milly Dawson, Project Manager at Movement to Work, and Emma Reay, Head of Employer Programmes at Skills Builder Partnership, led a workshop to delve into the key challenges facing young people and employers today – and discuss what employers can do to address them.

The transition from education into employment is critical, but often difficult for young people and businesses alike to navigate.

Young people are more qualified and ambitious than ever before. Meanwhile, unfilled vacancies are at a high and employers struggle to recruit and retain the employees they need.

Milly Dawson, Project Manager at Movement to Work, and Emma Reay, Head of Employer Programmes at Skills Builder Partnership, led a workshop to delve into the key challenges facing young people and employers today – and discuss what employers can do to address them. Click here to watch the full recording. 

The challenge

In theory, better-qualified young people should result in fewer hard-to-fill vacancies.

Instead, youth unemployment remains persistently high and businesses are struggling to recruit talent with the motivation, skills and qualifications that are required.

The reality is that there is a big gap in expectations between those entering the labour market and those recruiting from it. Although highly qualified, young people have left education in recent years without the traditional opportunities to get hands-on experience and insights. 

To them, finding work can feel daunting: according to Youth Employability UK’s Youth Voice Census only 36% of young people in education have access to work experience. As a result, 51% of young jobseekers cite their lack of confidence as the greatest barrier to gaining employment. Only 44% said they could write a CV, and only 47% felt able to prepare for interviews. 

The cost of living crisis has compounded these stressors. Young people face both logistical and financial barriers when submitting applications or commuting to interviews and office spaces. 

Less than a third of young people feel that employers want to hire them. They mention that the language used in job descriptions can often seem nebulous, jargony, and intimidating – and that many hiring teams don’t provide application feedback or respond to emails. 

Finally, only 14% of young people believe they can access high-quality work where they live. Though many opportunities do exist, young people are underexposed to them and don’t know where to look. 

Businesses must actively work to shift this paradigm for young people, tap into their potential, and build the foundations to sustain smoother transitions in the future. However, Movement to Work and Skills Builder Partnership frequently hear that businesses are unsure how to engage and communicate meaningfully with young people, despite expansion and investment into their corporate social responsibility and outreach provision.

The good news

Young people are at the heart of everything that Movement to Work does. Together with employers, it develops work experience and vocational training programmes for 16-30 year olds who aren’t in education, employment or training and who face barriers to work. Its youth ambassador network of beneficiaries and Youth Summit give young people a voice, enabling them to share their experience and insights.

Movement to Work is joined by a national network of organisations that share best practice to drive innovation. They gather feedback to learn what makes a programme impactful, and what additional support participants may need. 

Skills Builder Partnership is one such partner organisation. Its Universal Framework for essential skills bridges the communication gap between young people and employers by defining a common language for eight essential skills, including teamwork, listening and problem-solving. As 75% of UK secondary and college aged students have a touchpoint with the Partnership, it provides a familiar approach towards developing the essential skills for success in the world of work and opens up a common ground between education and employment that businesses can build on. 

By offering young people the chance to build essential skills in outreach programmes and initiatives, businesses are enabling them to experience the workplace in a way that they can relate to and feel prepared for, whilst helping them to develop the essential skills they need to succeed. By providing these opportunities explicitly, businesses can strengthen the workforce of today as well as build a talented workforce of tomorrow.

Interested to learn more?

You can find out more about the work that Movement to Work does at our website.

If you want to learn about the employers who are already members of the Skills Builder Partnership and how it supports them to transform the impact of their outreach, head to their website. 

Make sure to also catch up on the full session below here