Category: Past Events

2024 CEO Summit & Awards : Event Report

On Monday 15th April 2024, Movement to Work hosted its annual CEO Summit in London with more than 100 attendees from 41 organisations. We convened young people alongside leaders from business, government and youth organisations to discuss youth employment and inspire positive action in the year ahead.
The summit was followed by our annual Youth Employability Awards. Here, we welcomed a further 200+ guests to highlight individuals and organisations across the network who have been particularly extraordinary in their efforts to tackle youth unemployment, including amazing young people who are overcoming barriers to work.   
Today we are sharing an overview of our 2024 flagship events, including key learnings and next steps. 
Read event report HERE
Download event images HERE


We welcome your ongoing feedback about the event and how we might continue to work together now and in the future. Please do get in touch if you have any questions about the report and our mission
Thank you to all that were involved to help make for such a special day together, and to everyone who posted on social media in support of our work. It was fantastic to see all your pictures and read your reflections. 
We look forward to working with you in the weeks and months ahead!
Movement to Work Team

Nominees for 2024 MtW Youth Employability Awards

We are absolutely delighted to announce the following nominees for the upcoming MtW Youth Employability Awards on Monday 15th April!

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

2024 MtW Youth Employability Awards – Nominees

Best Newcomer – Employer
  • N Brown Group (JD Williams & Company Ltd)
  • RAF Museum
  • Strive Developments
Best Newcomer – Partner
  • Think Forward UK 
  • YMCA England & Wales
  • YouthBuild Ventures UK
Employer of the Year 
  • BAE Systems
  • Civil Service
  • Department for Transport
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • HMRC Debt Management
  • Marriott Hotels
  • NHS
  • Tesco
Mentor of the Year
  • Andrew Smith –  Catch 22
  • Catherine Legg  DWP
  • Claire Robinson  DWP
  • Ellie Fitzpatrick  DWP
  • Elsie Vivian –  MBDA UK
  • Isabel Howden –  Springboard
  • Kirsty Brookes –  DWP
  • Maxine Simpson –  Marriott
  • Naomi Pitt –  DWP
  • Paul Young –  Ministry of Justice
  • Rebecca Slade  –  Springboard
  • Robert Dell –  DWP
  • Sam Meakings –  DWP
  • Sharon Thorpe –  Springboard
Partner of the Year 
  • Ambitious About Autism
  • Bridge of Hope
  • CareerMap
  • Carers Trust
  • Catch 22
  • DFN Project Search
  • Generation UK
  • PeoplePlus
  • The Prince’s Trust
Individual Impact Award
  • Amanda Riley –  Ministry of Justice
  • Angela Buchan –  DWP
  • Angela Burns –  DWP
  • Julie Stone –  DWP
  • Kirsty Brookes –  DWP
  • Marianne Lester –  DWP
  • Marriott HR Team –  Marriott
  • Rachael Cunningham –  Thames Water
  • Sam Meakings –  DWP
Innovator of the Year Award
  • Apprentice Nation
  • Bridge of Hope Careers
  • Bristol Temple Street Movement to Work Team (DWP)
  • Careerscope
  • Carers Trust
  • DFN Project Search
  • Georgina Huntley (Manpower Group)
  • His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • Mary Scales on behalf of DWP           
  • Salesforce with Catch 22
  • ThinkForward UK
  • William Holt (DWP)
  • Youth Employment UK
Rising Star Award
  • Calum Hayes –  M&S
  • Chloe Bunce –  DWP
  • Chloe Martin –  Princes Trust for M&S
  • Daniel Zinczenko –  Princes Trust for M&S
  • Dean Lake –  BAE Systems
  • Emma Charles-Wilson –  Accenture
  • Gabrielle Howell –  BAE Systems
  • Gary Graham –  Springboard UK & Diageo
  • Jessica Wiseman –  Accenture
  • Lauren Gibson –  M&S
  • Liam Kelleher –  People Plus & Tesco
  • Mary Pyne –  NHS
  • Naveen Ganesaperumal –  M&S
  • Olivia Horner –  Springboard UK
  • Paige Mitchie –  Tesco
  • Rahima Zakaria Bismillar –  Manpower Group
  • Shane Lee –  M&S
  • Sophie Cooke –  M&S
Breakthrough Star Award
  • Alistair Kemley –  Springboard UK
  • Bradley Hadlington –  DWP
  • Brandon Tattersall –  BAE Systems
  • Burhan Wardak –  M&S
  • Cassie Grant, Jacob Mohammed-Irvine & Katie Billings –  DWP
  • Connor Wise –  M&S
  • Damian Trunchion –  Tesco
  • David Carter –  DWP
  • Elizabeth Samrau – The Prince’s Trust
  • Emily Saker –  M&S
  • Grace Harrison-Volz –  M&S
  • Guled Sudi – The Prince’s Trust
  • Lara Evans –  Princes Trust & M&S
  • Lewis Abel –  M&S
  • Micah Fisher –  Springboard UK
  • Nial McDevitt –  M&S
  • Oran Murphy –  M&S
  • Ryan Welch –  MBDA UK
  • Sophie Pace-Balzan –  Diageo
  • Sophie Rosa Leigh –  M&S
  • Thomas Wan –  BAE Systems
  • Tobi Azeez –  Princes Trust
  • Toni Hollywood –  BAE Systems & 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 you at the event very soon!



Sareena Bains 

CEO, Movement to Work 

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

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.

MtW CEO reflects: 2022 CEO Summit and Youth Employability Awards

Last month I had the pleasure of hosting the Movement’s annual CEO Summit and Youth Employability Awards. My first events since joining the organisation in February and the Movement’s first face-to-face Summit and Awards in two years!

The events brought together senior leaders from business, youth outreach organisations, charities, government and young people from across the country, to discuss the most significant issues relating to youth unemployment today and to celebrate the wonderful achievements of individuals and businesses across our network; none more so than our young people. The videos below give a sense of the electric energy and inspirational people in the room on the 28th March.

At a time when youth unemployment is nearly three times the national average, focusing on how we can better work together to tackle some of the most prominent challenges and barriers to work which young people are facing, has never been more of a priority.

We were honoured to hear from a number of young people who spoke openly about their experiences and career journeys, including the difficulties they have overcome to enter the workplace. They told us how the opportunities they have been given have helped to transform their lives, setting them up for long and successful employment; testament to the value youth employment programmes continue to provide to young people up and down the country.

The energy in the room really highlighted the commitment of our network to find solutions and ensure more young people have access to high quality job opportunities.  Some of the key points discussed include:

A lot of young people still don’t know where or how to look for jobs or support. How can we help them to find out about, access and navigate the various opportunities and programmes available to them? For example, how do we better connect to young people in local communities and what can we do to ensure outreach goes beyond the school environment?

We need to meet young people where they are. We need to focus recruitment activity on the needs of the young people being recruited, ensuring recruitment processes are inclusive and flexible.

Interviews for example are not always necessary for some roles, with people better demonstrating their suitability for a job during a trial period.

We also need to ensure youth employment programmes are always designed around the needs of young people. Identify the cross-sector and interpersonal skills needed by young people, in order to be set up for success and enabled to pivot where demand is; a focus on digital skills and sustainability will be key.

Hybrid programmes offer the best of both worlds.  As the country continues to open up post-lockdowns and we find ourselves navigating new ways of working, we shouldn’t forget the positives the shift to online working and learning has brought. For example, the democratisation of meetings and the opportunity to hire young people in more rural areas who may not have had the opportunity before.

We can and need to do more. Our young people need us now. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing incredible youth talent wasted. Young people need work and employers need smart, creative young people.  We have a responsibility to our younger generation. Put simply, they are our future and by helping them into work, we are not only helping to create a fairer world but helping business and the country’s economic growth.

In order to drive change, we must continue to monitor the challenges and barriers to work and action solutions in a way that is sustainable for all but which also delivers at pace. This means keeping the conversation alive with businesses, young people and our partners. To help enable this, we’re delighted to be launching a series of regular roundtable events for our network members. More to follow on this soon.

A big thank you to all who attended our events; to our speakers, our panellists who shared their experiences and everyone who contributed to this important conversation. By coming together and discussing the actions we can collectively take to help more young people work, we can continue to make a difference to the lives of many more young people across the country. I look forward to continuing our work together to achieve this.

To our award winners and nominees, a huge well done again. You are proof of the incredible scale of the potential of young people everywhere and proof of what’s possible when our network comes together to support and nurture this talent. Keep going.

As ever, if you’d like more information or are thinking about joining the Movement, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team. We’re ready to support.

Gillian Churchill is CEO of Movement to Work. Connect with her on LinkedIn









Watch the videos below for highlights across the CEO Summit and Awards…

Hear from the amazing award winners!

MtW CEO Summit Report 2021


  Read the 2021 MtW CEO Summit Insights and Impact report HERE

Each year, Movement to Work hosts its annual CEO Summit, bringing together senior leaders from business, youth outreach, government and young people, to discuss the most pertinent issues of the day related to youth unemployment. The last CEO summit was held at a point in time when youth unemployment was at a historic low and yet, just a year on, our Summit in February 2021 responded to a radically different context that we never could have foreseen:

  • Young people account for 46% of the overall fall in employment
  • Young people are bearing the brunt of lockdown – 47% of people furloughed are aged under 24
  • Almost 200,000 young people who are out of work have been unemployed for over six months
  • The unprecedented disturbance to young people’s education and the trauma of having their social lives disrupted at vulnerable ages

Given the challenges posed by COVID-19, we hosted the event for the first time online but we were encouraged by the participation and enthusiasm across our network.

We were inspired by the stories of young people who spoke boldly about their lived experiences, and the dedication shown by our key speakers and special guests:

  • Olly Benzecry, Chairman Accenture UKI and MtW Chair
  • Sacha Berendji, Retail, Operations & Property Director, M&S
  • Seb Munden, Executive VP & GM U&I, Unilever
  • Liz Williams, CEO, Futuredotnow
  • Mims Davies MP, Minister for Employment (DWP)
  • Jack Parsons – UK’s Chief Youth Officer and Award-winning young entrepreneur and CEO of The Youth Group
  • Sam Meakings, Job Coach at the Department for Work and Pensions andMtW Youth Ambassador
  • June Sarpong OBE, British television broadcaster and presenter (Event MC)
  • Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE, award-winning comedian, actor and television presenter
  • Russell Kane, multi-award-winning comedian and presenter

We also took this opportunity to celebrate a big milestone for the charity – achieving over 100,000 youth work placements to date. However, this celebration was swiftly met with the call to achieve our next 100,000 faster and stronger than ever before. Young people are facing the toughest circumstances we’ve ever seen, and so we must rally together to affirm positive action before it is too late.

I took away three key things from this year’s event:

  1. We must see youth employability as a key way to bring true sustainability to life in our organisations – bringing in diverse talent and meaningfully engaging with our communities to bring about social mobility and an economy that works for everyone.

  2. We must not rush to think that young people – the so-called ‘digital natives’ – are as tech-savvy as we may think they are. We need to continue to navigate the digital world remembering that not all young people have the access to tech and data, not all young people have the appropriate skills-set, and to be mindful that a digital world is not always the best place to foster positive experiences for our young people.

  3. If we continue to recruit in the same way, we will continue to get the same results. I call on employers to quickly adapt, to stop recruiting for ’perfection’ and to recruit for potential – and – be prepared to develop it. We have to see beyond the classic markers of employability such as strong GCSEs and a well-written C.V. and re-think our strategy so we can cast the net even wider.

The media still talks about the risk of the lost generation – if we act now, boldly, this needn’t be the fate of our young people. We can do something about it. As leaders, we have a responsibility to be part of the solution and not the problem. Let’s not forget the young people who were already furthest from the workplace, and how COVID-19 has pushed them even further out. We believe that if we continue to have those young people in our hearts and minds as we move forward, our businesses will be stronger and the world will become a fairer place to be.

I hope you enjoy reading the report, and as ever, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team should you require any assistance.

You can read the full report HERE: MtW CEO Summit 2021 FULL REPORT

Sam Olsen is CEO of Movement to Work