Government outlines plans to get young people into work

David Woods , 16 May 2011


Prime minister David Cameron and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg have set out the Government’s commitment to getting more vulnerable young people into work.

The Government has announced a series of measures to prioritise youth employment including a £60 million commitment to getting more vulnerable young people into work, a boost to Apprenticeships and radical reforms to transform vocational education.

The measures aim to tackle some of the long-term structural barriers that stop some young people from getting a job and starting their career.

In total the Government plans to provide funding for up to 250,000 more apprenticeships over the next four years, and funding for 100,000 work placements over the next two years.

A new £10 million a year innovation fund will also be launched aimed at the voluntary and community sector to help in the drive to help young people find jobs.

Cameron said the measures were "about more than improving the jobless numbers. It's about changing people's lives".

He said: "It's time to reverse the trend of rising youth unemployment that has held back our country for far too long and help our young people get the jobs on which their future - and ours - depends.

"But government can't act alone. We need employers who are prepared to give young people a go. So I'm delighted that over 100 large companies and tens of thousands of small and medium sized enterprises have already responded to our call for work experience placements so that tens of thousands of young people can take those vital first steps in experiencing the world of work."

Clegg also welcomed today's announcement as a chance to give "young people a solid career grounding".

He added: "We all have a responsibility; government, business, charities, education providers - to work together to find a solution. Our young people have enormous potential and enthusiasm. We have to do whatever we can to help them aspire to be happy and successful, and look to the future with hope."


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Some progress on apprenticeships

Peter Gibson 17 May 2011

As a training charity working with some of the most disadvantaged young people in the country, we welcome any move to make apprenticeships easier to access. What is disappointing though is that there is to be no action to either require employers to employ apprentices or incentives for them to do so. Work experience is good – but only if it leads to the prospect of a paid apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships? A great start to kick-start next actions!

Viv Leach 24 May 2011

I am delighted to hear more emphasis is towards employers' creating Apprenticeship positions, as an enabler for young people to take that first step on the career ladder! What appears to be apparent is the lack of those young people with higher level skills going down the apprenticeships' route! Why is that? There has been such a "push" to encourage young people to pursue Academia, spend three (or four or more) years at Uni, that some (quite a few!)who pursue a degree, leave with higher expectations of better job prospects, to find themselves struggling and competing for work with the many who thought the same, feel let down, deflated and discouraged when their aspirations of work are not met. So, if anything, there should be a push for schools to be encouraging young people to consider the apprentice route as an alternative to academia. A great starting point if young people can see that the apprentice route is a great alternative and a kick-start to next actions, an initial beginning to the career journey rather than "second best". Rather than young people feeling disappointed and let down by the old system of things, this the their chance to embrace these changes and jump at the chance of proving they have the skills, motivation, resilience and capabilities that employers seek. So, those organisations involved in working with young people after they have left school should really focus on their websites and marketing strategy to sell the apprenticeship route as the route to explore!

Incentives for Apprentices

Jayne Allman 26 May 2011

Hi. I am replying to the previous comment from Peter Gibson about there being no incentives for employers to take on Apprentices. I appreciate what you say Peter and just wanted to let you know that we are offering incentives at our college (Stockport, Cheshire) by way of a "Grant payment". This funding is being made available to enable SMEs to help support the candidates through their Apprenticeship. It will take the form of two grant payments to the employer up to a maximum of £2,500 for every new Apprenticeship started. Presumably, there may be other colleges offering similar incentives?

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