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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Getting young people back to work

Yesterday the Welsh Government launched its initiative for helping young people get into work. It is a a £75 million programme designed to offer 12,000 people six months work experience over a three year period. Unfortunately, it is modelled on the previous government's Future Jobs Fund which largely failed to make an impact. Many of those benefitting from it ended up back on the dole soon after their six months were up.

In contrast the UK Government has launched its own programme, which will form part of the replacement for the Future Jobs Fund. Their plan is to set up work academies offering training and a guaranteed job interview to up to 50,000 people.

The Minister believes that, coupled with the Work Programme and the Work Experience scheme, the new work academies will support up to 150,000 young people over the next few months and 250,000 over the next two years. He says that industries covered by the work academies include construction, hospitality, logistics, retail and contact centres, where the Government say there are tens of thousands of job vacancies:

Mr Grayling said: "Sector-based work academies are the next key part of our strategy to tackle youth unemployment. With training, work experience and a guaranteed interview, they will put people at the front of the queue for vacancies that employers are looking to fill."

Under the initiative, employers are being urged to offer work experience placements or guaranteed job interviews.

This seems to me to be a much more sustainable and focussed initiative than that adopted by the Welsh Government. Perhaps that should revisit their own plans.
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