The Youth Engagement Fund is a £16.04m outcomes fund that aims to help
The official objectives are fourfold:
Deliver support to help young people aged 14-17 who are disadvantaged, or at risk of disadvantage to enable them to participate and succeed in education or training, improving their employability, reducing their longer term dependency on benefits and reducing their likelihood of offending.
Enable schools, academies, local authorities, colleges and others to use their resources more effectively to support disadvantaged young people and reduce the number of young people who become NEET (not in employment, education or training).
Test the extent to which a payment by results approach involving social investors can drive improved outcomes for young people and generate benefit savings, as well as other wider fiscal and social benefits.
Support the development of the social investment market, build the capacity of social sector organisations and contribute to the evidence base for social impact bonds.
There are a few particularly interesting points about this fund from a social investment perspective.
Like the Fair Chance Fund, it is quite prescriptive in the types of social investment that will be allowed. In this case it only allow Social Impact Bonds, and even then only a restricted type of social impact bond.
Another unique feature is how early on in the process investor engagement and financial structuring need to happen. This includes decisions on who takes which risks, and how the legal structures and money flows will work. Both of these elements need to be in place before the “Initial Application Form” is submitted, which had a deadline of 18th August 2014.
Full details of the background information and how to apply can be found on the DWP procurement website, which requires users to register before viewing the documents.