EY Foundation / LNER, George Square, Glasgow, August 2022.

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Reflecting on our impact

Our Youth Advisory Board Chair, Dazo, looks back at the past year

I’m the new chair of the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) and a new Trustee to the EY Foundation. For young people, the last year has posed many challenges, as we slowly emerged from regular COVID-19 lockdowns, navigated an uncertain jobs market, and faced a fast-growing cost-of-living crisis. 


But there are also emerging sectors of the economy, such as technology, along with an increased focus on work-life balance and improving wellbeing in the workplace, which provide new opportunities and support. I believe too that it is my generation who are best placed to affect the future of work, so that people of all backgrounds can thrive in a modern and diverse workplace.


At the EY Foundation, we have seen the return of in-person programmes, a refreshed long-term ambition and new strands of work focusing on growing our regional reach across the UK, scaling up our wider influence, and developing our digital presence. Sitting at the heart of everything the Foundation does is a constant focus on the needs of young people and providing a platform to highlight the issues we face.


We’ve also seen the introduction of our brand new employment programme, Your Future, which has seen a 71% conversion into job offers directly after the programme — a really impressive outcome!


You can read our latest Impact Report here and watch at our ‘review of the year’ video to hear from the people we’ve worked with and the impact we’ve had on their lives. 

Why am I involved?

I was part of the Smart Futures Birmingham programme four years ago where I felt first-hand the Foundation’s impact and I’m now fortunate to play a role in shaping its future. I was able to benefit from this opportunity, though many of my friends and family did not as they did not feel programmes like this were for people like them. I joined the YAB to break down these barriers and make sure young people, from all backgrounds, have access to these opportunities.


As a group, we feel connected by our desire to get young people into work in three main ways: increasing our current reach, spreading awareness on social media and co-producing programmes alongside the EY Foundation team.


We feel the diversity in our upbringings and paths to employment can help build programmes to tackle the challenges young people face today. We are passionate about supporting those from low-socioeconomic backgrounds as we’ve felt first-hand how support and mentorship can change your perspective on what is achievable.


We are excited to get the opportunity to improve the lives of those who will come after us and we stand with the Foundation and their ambitious plans so we can leave a legacy after our tenure as the Youth Advisory Board.