Applied Learning

Young Enterprise has over 60 years experience creating and delivering opportunities for young people to apply their learning to real-world contexts in the areas of enterprise, employability and financial education.

What is applied learning?

Applied learning is an active process in which learners use existing knowledge and understanding to address practical, real-world challenges.

The key to applied learning is the provision of relevant and relatable support to help young people reflect upon, connect and articulate the relevancy of skills gained with their academic education and help transfer these skills to their future plans.

Research shows that applied learning:

  • Improves engagement and motivation
  • Builds transferable skills
  • Improves academic outcomes
  • Creates a more productive workforce
  • Supports social mobility
  • Is cost-effective to deliver

To find out more about why applied learning is needed, the benefits of applied learning approaches, and examples of applied learning in practice download our Applied learning brochure.

Applied learning brochure
Join Us!

Join us in advocating for applied learning approaches to better prepare young people for the future. Get in touch with our Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Alice Clarke, to find out more about the campaign and how we might be able to work together to improve opportunities for young people!

We have written a open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Education in collaboration with representatives from the education, youth and employment sectors.

What are we asking for:

  1. Fully integrate opportunities for young people to apply learning in real and relevant contexts as good pedagogical practice via teacher CPD training and initial teacher training
  2. Increase recognition and promotion of applied learning opportunities by key influencers, such as the Department for Education and Ofsted
  3. Invest in further long-term research into the educational, social and economic impact of enabling young people to access increased opportunities to apply their learning in real and relevant contexts 


Over 40 organisations have signed the letter, but it’s not too late to get involved in the campaign! If you are an organisation or employer that believes learning how to apply your knowledge is the key to building skills for the future, reach out to our team to find out more. Please contact our Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager

Read the letter in full

Supporters include:

Please download the letter to see the full list of signatories and supporting organisations.

What applied learning looks like

Published January 2023, the What Applied Learning Really Looks Like report highlights several successful case studies to show teachers and policymakers what applied learning actually looks like in practice – particularly in cases where time and resources are limited. Rather than just being a standalone, extracurricular activity, the report shows how applied learning can be integrated into school timetables and across the curriculum, to make its benefits available to all students, regardless of their area or background.

What Applied Learning Really Looks Like report
Thumbs up to applied learning from teachers across the UK

According to research commissioned by Young Enterprise, 94% of UK teachers feel it is important for young people to have opportunities to apply their learning as part of their school education.

Our Work