From education to employment

CIPD proposes work placement subsidy to support 16-17 January Guarantee

The Government’s January Guarantee for 16-17 year-olds, to be launched tomorrow, fails to go far enough to stem the soaring numbers of young people facing long-term unemployment, warns the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The Institute says Apprenticeship shortages and the particular difficulties this age group has with competing in tight labour market will still leave thousands of 16-17 year olds out of a job and facing an extended period of unemployment. These problems are also likely to be exacerbated by the Young Person’s Guarantee for 18-24 year olds, which in the next couple of years aims to provide 170,000 jobs to those aged between 18 and 24 years old.

Gerwyn Davies, CIPD’s public adviser, believes the solution lies in a new six-month work placement subsidy of £1,250 for 16-17 year olds who have been out of work for more than half a year to complete the Government’s support package.

“Although the January Guarantee is welcome, it is unlikely to offer a full solution to the youth unemployment crisis that will not reach its peak until the second half of 2010,” says Mr Davies.

“Giving young people education places and formal training opportunities is a laudable aim, and one we support. However, while Apprenticeships are often seen as the silver bullet, many of our members say that they are not in a position yet to offer apprenticeships, even with a cash incentive. Promising Apprenticeships that are not available is not enough. Meanwhile, the extra support for education places has done little to curb the rise in unemployment.

“The work placement idea however would give more young people the opportunity to learn key employability skills, and give employers greater flexibility around training opportunities. The limited subsidy we’re proposing would be a relatively inexpensive way of preventing the futures of thousands of young people’s working lives being blighted for many years.”

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