Published: 15th December 2021

The Youth Futures Foundation and the Connected Futures Fund

The Youth Futures Foundation (YFF) is an independent not-for-profit organisation established in December 2019 to improve employment outcomes for young people from marginalised backgrounds. It recently launched a new £6.1 million fund called the Connected Futures Fund (CFF) to support young people to get good jobs through pioneering local partnerships. The programme is open to 83 local authority areas that have been longlisted using a national formula (considering rates of youth unemployment, economic disadvantage and numbers of high-risk young people), of which Southwark Council is one.

The CFF will have two phases:

- Phase 1 (June 2022–December 2023) – 6–8 partnerships will receive funding to explore
systemic issues which prevent disadvantaged young people from achieving good
employment outcomes and mobilise local stakeholders around a shared ambition for
change. Successful partnerships will receive grants of up to £125,000 in Phase 1, for a
period of 18 months.
- Phase 2 (January 2024 onwards) – 2–4 successful partnerships from Phase 1 will
receive funding to deliver on their ambitions. It is expected that grants of up to £1.5m will
be made available to partnerships in phase 2, for a period of 3-4 years.
In both phases, partnerships must put resources into co-production, with young people in
the lead throughout.

For further information on the CFF, please review the attached prospectus – particularly the
‘What do you need to know?’ section on page 4 – as well as other useful information available

Eligible activity for Phase 1

Funding in phase 1 is for ‘discovery’ work, not delivery, to develop an understanding of
problems in the system through, for example:
- user research
- journey/ systems mapping
- ethnographic/ participatory research
- co-design
- prototyping, etc.

The discovery work should be based around a clear problem statement, and partnerships
need to be able to articulate why they think this is a wider problem (systemic) rather than a
failure on the part of a particular service.

Please refer to the ‘About the Connected Futures Fund – what will we fund?’ section starting
on page 9 for further information on eligible activity.

Initial ideas for a proposal

Council officers and representatives from aligned programmes met to discuss initial ideas for
a proposal, with input from the Local Economy Team, Education, Youth Offending Service,
Southwark Young Advisors, as well as others.

Informed by evidence, the group discussed establishment of a youth-led, place-based ‘Youth
Employability Partnership’ for Peckham, to explore the systemic issues that prevent
disadvantaged young people from achieving good employment outcomes, with two potential
1. Exploring what an effective tailored, holistic employment support offer could look like for
our most disadvantaged 18-24 year olds– e.g. those with experience of the Criminal Justice
System, care system, or from minoritised communities.
2. Explore what is happening further upstream (i.e. under 18s) and the role of local schools
and youth services in supporting employability and work readiness.

Whilst the working group has considered the above, we are looking to establish an
equitable partnership. We recognise that partners working in communities may have good
rationale for exploring additional/different issues. Examples are provided in the prospectus,
in the ‘Connected Futures Fund criteria – what are we looking for?’ section starting on page


Any organisations that are interested in developing a partnership response to this
opportunity, please contact [email protected] and
[email protected] no later than 9am Wednesday 22 December 2022.

Connected Futures Fund Prospectus