Transitions into work for young people with complex needs: A systematic review of UK and Ireland studies to improve employability

Angie Hart, Agoritsa Psyllou, Suna Eryigit-Madzwamuse, Becky Heaver, Anne Rathbone, Simon Duncan, Pauline Wigglesworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Youth unemployment rates in the United Kingdom are almost triple that of adults (11.3% and vs. 4%, respectively), particularly impacting the employability of young people with complex needs, of whom 61.8% are unemployed. Interventions facilitating transition into work can operate at individual, community and government levels. The main objectives of this review were to explore current practices, identify factors affecting and strategies used to improve employability, and classify strategies at multi-levels. Findings suggest that collaborative strategies covering training, work practices, therapeutic support and creating appropriate work environments, with active involvement of young people, are key in supporting young people with complex needs into employment. Classification of factors indicated four categories: skills-based approaches, job/work experience accessing approaches, therapeutic interventions, and supportive working environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • young people
  • unemployment
  • complex needs
  • employability policies
  • Review
  • review
  • Unemployment


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