Gavin Phipps

Name Gavin Phipps
Company Department for Work and Pensions
Location Virtual
Last Known Job Role  Executive Officer – Youth Work Coach


Gavin was born and raised on a council estate in south Birmingham.  Coming from a struggling family he found it difficult to do well in school, which was only made worse by the bullying he experienced. Subsequently, Gavin says he “entered the working world with poor grades and no experience. I was left to face those challenges alone with no knowledge of where to start.”

During his placement with the Department for Work and Pensions Gavin says he:

“gained heaps of knowledge on how to demonstrate Civil Service behaviors and competencies. I left the program with much better confidence and experience to enter the Civil Service. The 121 support was something I had never experienced post-school and having that time with someone who knew what they were talking about was pivotal to my ongoing success.”

“Since becoming a MtW ambassador I have had many great experiences such as attending events (Youth summit, CEO Summit and MtW YEA Awards) and getting to partake in amazing conversations about change. Being given a literal stage to stand on and express youth opinions. I got the chance to host round tables and present to large crowds of business leaders.”

Gavin went on to say: 

“I have interacted with leaders and conveyed the voice of young people. I have also assisted in a Digital Marketing 101 hosted by Brolly Marketing. At this event I spoke to young people and gave some career direction and knowledge.”

“At DWP I have been involved with lots of events and meetings to ensure the youth voice is at the heart of DWP MtW delivery. Assisting local and national leaders on shaping the program to make it more interactive as well as helping with the infrastructure of advertisement in local Job centers and communities.”

We asked Gavin about the value this experience would bring to his career:

“In my career, it has added unbelievable opportunities and has opened so many doors for me both in my personal and work life such as working with future leaders network and helping shape policy for young people. Gaining leadership experience to assist me in my role at DWP and above all else, it gives me a reason to stay motivated to come to work and try and change young people’s lives and journeys.”

And what value do you think it brings employers and the Movement?

“The value it adds for employers is it shows they care about their future staff and they are committed to offering sustainable employment and jobs for their future leaders. Movement to Work is a great way to connect with young people and help your staff become more diverse. Having young people in the workplace offers fresh ideas that fit the landscape of the modern world. The unique views and knowledge the youth can contribute will also help employer’s business evolve and innovate.”

“My advice to employers is to be more open-minded and realistic when considering hiring young people. A lot of young people are not going to have a decorated CV with a long list of skills but given the opportunity, they can become capable of learning the required skills. Young people need your investment of time, training and mentoring to allow them to succeed.”

What about young people taking on MtW placements? 

When I am talking to young people about MtW placements in job centres, the main thing I always express to them is the passion that the charity and DWP have for youth employment and by showing them what you could make the opportunity into. I build their confidence in what they are doing and show young people that this could lead to a great career.”

“My advice to a fellow young person who is trying to get into work would be to be consistent with their job search and take the time to research and gain knowledge of their chosen field. A great tip for young people looking for work is to build a network of people who can support you on your journey and utilise local provisions and programs to boost your CV.”

Final thoughts? 

“Young people are the future, who need an opportunity in the present”