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Government urges businesses to offer young jobseekers jobs or training

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The secretary of state for work and pensions is calling on more British businesses to offer young jobseekers a job, apprenticeship or work experience.

Speaking at a webcast event to employers and young people Yvette Cooper (pictured) said: "We are determined to do everything we can to help the next generation of young people get ahead. If every one of the two million businesses across the UK could offer one single job, apprenticeship or training opportunity to a young person, then we could make a real difference and help young people get that all important first foot on the career ladder."

The Government is helping people back into work by pledging every 18-24 year-old who finds themselves out of work and claiming Jobseeker's Allowance for six months or more, will be guaranteed a job, work-focused training or work experience. 

Speaking at the webcast event today, John Wright, national chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, added: "Small businesses are stepping forward as the key to tackling the challenge of youth unemployment. At least one in five says they are keen to take on graduate interns and the majority would like to take on an apprentice.

"Apprenticeships are vital for fostering skills as they can help make small businesses stronger and better equipped to survive the recession and help the economy recover. Research shows that one in four graduates is subsequently offered fulltime employment - a win-win for both the business and the graduate."