Youth Employment Service

The Youth Employment Service was a British government agency from the 1950s to the 1970s, aimed at school-leavers (teenagers).


From the late 1910s, many Local Education Authorities in England and Wales had set up Youth Employment Services, started by the Education (Choice of Employment) Act 1910 , for up to the age of 17. Scotland had not been allowed to do this. The Education Act 1918 allowed LEAs to guide up to the age of 18.

The Unemployment Insurance Act 1923 permitted to cover unemployment insurance. In 1927 the Ministry of Labor established the National Advisory Council for Juvenile Employment.

The Employment and Training Act 1948 was passed by the Labor Government of 1945-51 , and section 10 of this act. By January 1949, 43 county councils and 73 county boroughs in England and Wales, and 3 town councils and 10 county councils in Scotland had submitted plans for their youth employment services.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the service had great popular support.

It would be replaced from the late 1970s onwards by the Careers Service.


The organization (also known as the YES), set up in district and regional centers, provided vocational guidance for people aged around 16-17, often from grammar schools . Only the most academic would await university from the age of 18 in the 1950s, and many of those at grammar school would not have until the age of 18. The A-level had been introduced in 1951, and previous to this it had been the Higher School Certificate ; In Scotland it has been the Higher exam. In 1945 24% of those at grammar school left before the age of 16; By 1949 this had lowered to 16%. In 1945, 15% of those at grammar school would stay until the age of 18; By 1949, this was over 20%. By 1955, around 34% of those at grammar school stayed on until 18.

In 1962, around 38% of boys found apprenticeships.


It was financed by the Ministry of Labor and local authorities.

The total cost in the early 1950s of the service per year was around £ 1.7m. In a study from 1950-3, it was found that around 1.48m school-leavers had been given advice, and from that 1.357m had directly found employment.

A Training Allowance Scheme had been introduced in 1947 for Youths when Training away from Home. Youth Employment Officers; In later years, their function was broadly taken over by careers advisory officers . The Service was run by the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Education and the Scottish Education Department . In 1963 there were around 1,000 youth employment officers. Youth Employment Officers were trained at the Youth Employment Service Training Board.

The service had eight activities

  • Contact with school – the service could request school reports for all children of the minimum (statutory) school leaving age.
  • Knowledge of opportunities available – from a working knowledge of local industries
  • Contact with potential school-leavers – to introduce children to the realities of going to work, and giving work-experience schemes
  • Training – to discuss what courses would be suitable for the career
  • Placing
  • Review of progress – if the youngster was later unhappy in the job they had chosen
  • Disabled children
  • Unemployment insurance and supplementary allowances

See also

  • Central Advisory Council For Education
  • National Youth Employment Council , established by the Ministry of Labor three years at a time
  • Youth Opportunities Program , established by a Labor Government in 1978
  • Youth Training Scheme (YTS), established in 1983 by the Conservative Government of Margaret Thatcher
  • National Apprenticeship Service


  • The Future Development of the Youth Employment Service , 1965

Start a Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *