Young people, hardest hit by rise in unemployment, to get free training and mentoring

Following the release of the latest ONS figures yesterday, demonstrating that young people have been hardest hit by the recent rise in unemployment, Future Leaders Network is calling for renewed focus on protecting the competitiveness of the future labour market.

While out of work, young people are missing out on the gaining of knowledge and experience from their colleagues and from building the skills needed to thrive in the workplace in the longer term. This has a disproportionate impact on their long term earning potential and competitiveness in the labour market, not to mention reducing the talent pool available to businesses across the UK in the longer term.

A recent report by the Resolution Foundation also highlighted the broader deterioration in living standards of this generation in comparison with their parents, not to mention the mental health implications of long periods out of work during the pandemic. It said about one-in-seven people under the age of 30 have missed a rent or mortgage payment since the pandemic began, compared to just one-in-thirty 60- to 69-year-olds.

Despite this, measures to support the continued building of capability in those young people most impacted by the pandemic have, thus far, been limited.

Commenting, Ian Mason, Chairman of Future Leaders Network says:

The formative years of a person’s career have a substantial impact on their long term economic potential.

While a loss of earnings delays young people reaching important life milestones, such as buying a house and building savings, it is the loss of experience that causes the greatest long-term damage – for each individual and for our economy.

If we are to build a workforce fit for the future, it is vital that our young people continue to build their leadership capabilities and to benefit from the passing of knowledge and experience between generations whilst they are out of work.

In order to play our role in supporting this, we’re making our Annual Conference free for any young person that is currently unemployed. Come along, virtually, learn at our masterclasses and from some of our speakers, including entrepreneurs, journalists, politicians and from businesses such as Bain & Paypal.

Notes to the Editor:

• For more information about the support available to young people in the UK, particularly our Annual Conference, please visit our website:

• For interviews with the our Chairman - Ian Mason, Chief Executive – Sophie Daud or the speakers mentioned, please contact Ian directly on 020 3868 0520 or at

About Future Leaders Network

Future Leaders Network is a not-for-profit organisation, founded with the goal of discovering and developing the next generation of political, economic and social leaders. Our network of talented, ambitious young people, from all walks of life and all parts of the country, represent the United Kingdom at Global Summits, participate in expert panels and articulate research findings and policy proposals to policy makers both at home and overseas. Our diverse community incubates policy positions through intensive research, debate, engagement and collaboration.


About our 2020 Annual Conference

The Future Leaders Annual Conference is a virtual, 2-day event, designed to equip the next generation of leaders to be competitive in the job market, prepare them for the future of work and help them to realise their ambition to create change in the workplace, their community and the world.

An conference pass entitles delegates to:

• Keynote speeches and panels from political leaders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, journalists and more;

• Access to three masterclasses, designed to build leadership capability and their CV in the process;

• Networking opportunities with like-minded young people.

To access the full list of speakers, and to find out more, please visit our website:

About Ian Mason:

Ian is the founder and Chairman of Future Leaders Network.

Ian is Managing Director of Rainbow Bridge Education, a company he founded, that is currently helping over 1 million children a month to learn to read.

He is a multiple-time founder & MD of a number of scale-ups and successfully exited from one of these businesses, a B2B education company, after an 8 year period of rapid growth.

He has been an active member of the global start-up and scale-up ecosystem for over 15 years, most notably in his role in the founding team of Virgin StartUp, Sir Richard Branson’s not-for-profit for entrepreneurs looking to start, fund or scale their business.

In that role, the team created a nationwide support network for start-ups and SMEs, that delivered programmatic, funding and mentoring support at scale. In his 5-year tenure at Virgin StartUp, they scaled the business from nothing to supporting thousands of entrepreneurs, with millions in funding.

Ian then went on to create Humble, a support organization that has worked with over 2000 start-ups and scaling businesses across the globe in the last 2 years, in countries such as the U.K, U.S, China, Turkey, Germany, Italy and Australia.

He also currently holds Entrepreneur-in-Residence roles at London College of Fashion, Queensland University of Technology, the University of New England’s Smart Region Incubator and for FLAIR, Australia’s female-led incubator.

Prior to his entrepreneurial adventures, Ian built a strong track record in economic development, starting his career in local, regional and then national Government in the UK, before becoming Head of Policy and Public Affairs at London Chamber of Commerce in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. He continues this work through economic development/small business/entrepreneurship policy consults for governments, universities and corporates globally.

Ian is a professional speaker and has been asked to participate in a diverse range of engagements, from the 11th UK/South Africa Bilateral, to the Gen Asia Conference and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018. Ian has also delivered lectures for a number of Universities globally, including London School of Economics, University of Bari and Queensland University of Technology.

Ian’s media work includes TV interviews broadcast on free-to-air TV in the UK, Australia, China, Italy & Macedonia amongst others and his radio work for both regional and national stations in the UK, includes the BBC and LBC. Ian is also a professional speechwriter, having previously written for senior politicians and business leaders.

Ian campaigns on a number of issues, including social mobility, youth leadership and financial literacy. As an active youth leader on the global stage, he was also appointed Leader of the UK’s delegation to the Y20 Summit in both 2015 and 2016.

In his leisure time, Ian enjoys playing football, marathon running, motorsport, falconry, shooting, ballroom dancing, and listening to jazz/swing music. He is a member of MENSA and avid supporter of Aston Villa Football Club.

In 2016, Ian co-founded Future Leaders Network in order to help young people realise their potential through the provision of leadership training, professional development and networking opportunities.




Resolution Foundation Report:

The Resolution Foundation Report mentioned in the release can be found here:

Attached Media

Press Contacts