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CIPD calls for 'holistic' approach to youth unemployment

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Employers, policymakers and education providers should form closer ties to take positive steps on youth unemployment, according to a report by the CIPD.

Employers: Learning to work with young people looks at the progress made since the body launched its Learning to Work programme two years ago.

It found that four in 10 employers are currently offering some form of work experience, with 37% increasing work experience opportunities in the past 12 months.

It also suggested employers are increasingly engaging with local schools and colleges. More than one-third (35%) did so in the past year, up from 29% two years ago.

Apprenticeships are significantly increasing as well, according to figures from the report. Employers are now offering over half a million apprenticeships – more than double the figure from 2012. A further 14% of employers also say they plan to introduce them in the next year.

CIPD head of skills and policy campaigns Katerina Rudiger told HR magazine she has noticed a "real shift" in employers' attitudes to young people.

"They are starting to realise this is something they need to engage in," she said. "HR directors are looking around and noticing they have an ageing workforce and need to take action. When we first talked about placing these young people there was some scepticism. But now they are really seeing the value."

The paper highlights the number of HR professionals who are helping to reach out to local communities, with more than 1,500 offering one-to-one employability support via the Steps Ahead mentoring programme.

Rudiger puts the high engagement down to HR people wanting to "give something back".

"HR employees are rightly seen as the gatekeepers to employment," she added. "With their understanding of the issues, and knowledge of employment, they are the perfect people to help."