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More than 150 employers pledge to support employment for young people


More than 150 UK employers have got behind a national campaign to create job opportunities for thousands of young people during recession.

Employers including Centrica, Carillion, Royal Mail, Microsoft, Bovis Lendlease, Pfizer and Phones4U are working with the Government to create 85,000 opportunities for young people.

Morrisons, the retailer, has pledged to train every one of its 36,000 employees under the age of 25.

And the Government has said it will help 45,000 young people get jobs in retail, tourism, leisure and hospitality.

The prime minister, Gordon Brown, said: "I am delighted 150 employers recognise the value of Backing Young Britain and have joined the campaign. Together we can create thousands of opportunities for young people and ensure that the next generation gets its foot on the career ladder.

 "This Government will do everything it can to help people who are suffering because of the global economic downturn. We know that people of all ages are being hit by the recession, but it is young people who can be most at risk and that's where Backing Young Britain can really make a difference."  
The Government also announced 45,000 new training and support opportunities to help young people move into sectors that need new talent and have jobs to fill, including hospitality, leisure, tourism and retail. In the past three months, over 70,000 vacancies were notified to Jobcentre Plus in retail alone, and the Government is working with industry to make sure young people get the chance to take up more of these jobs.

This follows an announcement in July of the creation of 47,000 new jobs as part of the Future Jobs Fund.

Work and pensions secretary Yvette Cooper added: "We will not lose a generation of young people to work because of the global recession. We already have over 150 of Britain's top employers signing up to Backing Young Britain to create opportunities for young people. It is crucial for all of us that we make sure we do everything we can to harness the skills and talent of young people now so that we can all benefit in the future. We are acting now so that unemployment does not scar families, communities and the economy for generations."