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About this episode
Anna Smee is the new CEO of Youth Futures Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation set up in 2019 to help disadvantaged young people find employment. Previously she was chief executive of national charity UK Youth. Anna’s approach to social mobility is simple; she believes all young people should be helped to reach their potential, with access to support, networks and opportunities to find meaningful employment. In this episode, Anna describes the pressures felt by disadvantaged young people to choose a career path without access to the kind of support many people take for granted. She talks about the importance of the social development journey as young people transition from childhood to adulthood, and argues that everyone deserves a fair chance in life, regardless of their background, gender or race. She sets out the ambition for Youth Futures Foundation in finding, funding and evaluating projects that really work, and points out that it’s not just about upskilling young people, there are policy and structural changes which need work too. She also talks about the importance of working in partnership to achieve lasting change, to improve youth employment opportunities so that she can look back in ten or twenty years’ time and see significant change for the better.