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Laura-Jane Rawlings MBE

Laura-Jane Rawlings MBE CEO, Youth Employment UK

Laura-Jane (LJ) left school at 16 with poor GCSE grades, she had experience of being a free school meal student and being singled out because of it. Through her early career she worked in retail and sales, using each step to build her skills, experience and confidence. Whilst working in recruitment Laura-Jane began to see that the barriers she faced were not unique to her and became a passionate advocate for young people transitioning between education and employment. Spending time to better understand the structural issues of youth unemployment and the policy around the area, Laura-Jane founded Youth Employment UK in 2012.

Laura-Jane is a passionate campaigner for youth employment and the rights for all young people to access quality employment and have their voices heard on the issues that affect them. Laura-Jane believes that it is for all of us to create a youth friendly society so that young people can fulfil their potential.

Recognised as a leading youth employment expert Laura-Jane provides support, insight and expertise to many groups such as the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Employment, she is the co-founder of the Youth Employment Group, and has supported a range of expert groups on issues of social mobility, employment and skills. Laura-Jane is also a Board Member of DIGIT and the Federation for Education Development, she also spent 8 years as a Secondary School Governor.

In 2024, LJ is being awarded an MBE in recognition for her work and achievements through founding and leading Youth Employment UK.


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