Exclusive: Ex-Hinds adviser to help tackle youth crime

Jon Yates has been named the first CEO of the £200m Youth Endowment Fund, which aims to prevent youth crime

Jon Yates, a former Department for Education adviser, has said that fixing technical education should be the government's priority

Former Department for Education ministerial policy adviser Jon Yates is to lead the Youth Endowment Fund from November, the organisation has announced.

The YEF is a £200 million, 10-year government-backed initiative focused on tackling youth crime by supporting early interventions for young people at risk.

Mr Yates was previously policy adviser to Damian Hinds when he was the secretary of state for education between 2018 and 2019.

During that period, he oversaw the DfE’s strategy on schools, colleges, children’s services, nurseries, universities and apprenticeships.

Commenting on his new role, Mr Yates said: “For those of us who care deeply about young people, the Youth Endowment Fund is an enormous opportunity to make their lives better. There is so much great work going on that we should all have to chance to learn from.”


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“My job is to get this great work the funding, support and evaluation it needs to share the secrets of its success."

Tackling youth crime

During his two-decade career in the youth and community sector, Mr Yates founded and developed a number of programmes.

These included youth charity The Challenge, aimed at supporting employability skills training for young people.

He also supported the founding of the community organisation More in Common, which operates in four countries conducting research and outreach to address societal divisions and polarisation. The organisation was founded after the murder of Jo Cox MP.

Mr Yates will work alongside YEF chair Sir Kevan Collins, the former CEO of the Education Endowment Foundation. 

Sir Kevan said Mr Yates’ experience made him the right person to deliver the organisation’s “bold mission”.

"His experience of working with young people, of building successful social enterprises and of working across government, combined with his deep belief in the importance of evidence in delivering long-term impact, make him exactly the person the Youth Endowment Fund needs to deliver on our bold vision,” he said.

The YEF is run by the charity Impetus in partnership with the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) and the Social Investment Business (SIB).

It recently allocated its first grants to 22 projects across England and Wales, which will share in £16.2 million to help prevent youth offending by intervening early to stop children getting dragged into crime.

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