Young people's future health: five policy posts Developing policy solutions to some of the most pressing challenges that young people face

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As part of the Young people's future health inquiry, the Health Foundation is funding five policy posts across a range of organisations to build the policy agenda and amplify the voices of young people.

Each post will explore one of the important topics that emerged in the listening phase of the inquiry.

Getting it right across a range of policy areas can help young people to get a good start in adulthood. All too often, long-term health is not at the centre of decision making, especially in policy areas which affect health, but which don’t have health at their core.

The Young people's future health inquiry was first launched to explore young people’s ability to access the core building blocks of health: a place to call home, secure and rewarding work, and supportive relationships with their friends, family, and community. These building blocks help young people to secure the foundation for a healthy life. Young people need the opportunities which help them build these foundations, and the systems around them need to create these opportunities. 

Between 2020 and 2023 the Health Foundation is funding five policy posts across a range of organisations to build the policy agenda and amplify the voices of young people. Each post will explore one of the important topics that emerged in the listening phase of the inquiry.

The policy posts will work within their organisations to develop and test policy ideas, along with working with stakeholders in their sector.

The Health Foundation will also be supporting the group to work with each other, sharing their ideas and what they have learnt to strengthen the policy agenda further.

Find out more about the policy posts:

The Association for Young People’s Health (AYPH) is an organisation that works to improve the health and wellbeing of 10 to 24-year-olds. Their post will look at the experiences and challenges that different groups of young people face, such as those who are carers, parents, from the LGBTQ+ community, and from black and minority ethnic communities. The post will also look to develop our understanding of how different socioeconomic factors shape health and raise the profile of health inequalities across the policy world.

The Resolution Foundation is an independent thinktank focused on improving living standards for those on low to middle incomes. Their post will analyse how poor-quality work impacts young people and the barriers they face in accessing high-quality work. The post will then develop policy that a wide range of policymakers and other organisations can use to improve job quality and help prepare young people for good work.

The Institute for Employment Studies (IES) is an international organisation that aims for a future where everyone has the opportunity of good quality, secure and meaningful work. Their post will look at a range of issues surrounding the type of work undertaken by young people, exploring how these are measured and understood, as well developing policy solutions to improve the quality of work. They will assess ways employers can work with schools and colleges to help young people into work. Read their partnership guide and case study collection.

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) is a charity which believes in a world where everyone is able to participate in creating a better future. They undertake research and deliver innovative new programmes to achieve this. Their post will look at the ways in which the economy, job market, and wider society has led to young people experiencing economic insecurity and financial volatility. Moreover, they will explore how economic insecurity impacts young people’s transition to adulthood and ways in which policy can help young people to become economically secure.

The Health Foundation provided an award to Sustrans and the University of the West of England (UWE) to review evidence on the role of transport in supporting young people to develop and transition to an independent and healthy future. You can read about the evidence review and the seven policy recommendations the partnership has made for government to support this.

The Health Foundation have subsequently funded Transport to Thrive which runs until August 2023. The project will help to build evidence and assess policy initiatives to support policy and industry action. A panel of young volunteers and policy experts are working with the project, sharing their experiences and insights to guide project priorities. Read about the reasons why getting transport right for young people has never been so important.

Why these five areas?

As part of the Young people’s future health inquiry, the Health Foundation worked to understand some of the challenges facing young people. Throughout 2019 we ran a policy phase with expert organisations to understand some of the issues and make recommendations. We then held a competitive process, involving our young peer researchers, to award the posts to organisations with the strongest proposals. 

Other areas of the inquiry action phase, such as the research and place-based work, will explore other challenges facing young people.

About the Young people's future health inquiry


Young people's future health inquiry


Our Young people’s future health inquiry is a first-of-its-kind research and engagement project that...


Watch: Young people's future health inquiry


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