From education to employment

Employability programme developed by the Princes Trust to target the 1.2M NEATs

Youth charity The Prince’s Trust has launched a national job scheme to help the 1.2 million young people not in work (NEATS). The Princes Trust anticipate that around 30,000 school-leavers expected to leave with no qualifications and little chance of finding a job, The Prince’s Trust’s Get Into scheme will help unemployed young people into growth industries including construction, hospitality and retail.

Over the next five years 350,400 new construction industry recruits will be needed to meet demand for projects like the 2012 Olympics, while the retail sector is predicted to grow by 25,000 jobs per year.

The Get Into course offers a mixture of practical skills and experience for 16-to 25-year-olds with some of the UK’s biggest employers, including Gap, DHL and leading construction company Carillion.

Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust, the charity set up by The Prince of Wales in 1976 to help disadvantaged young people into education or employment, says: “Almost one in five young people are out of work or training. This scheme will help thousands of young people develop the vocational skills they need to get a job.” The launch comes as a Prince’s Trust survey of more than 1,500 people found that an overwhelming 88 per cent believe that young people with low qualifications should be encouraged into trade apprenticeships, compared with only 10 per cent who believed that compulsory education should be raised to 18.

Two-thirds believe large employers have a duty to recruit local unemployed young people, while a similar number (68%) said that they would have a more favourable view of a company that pledges a percentage of new jobs to local unemployed young people. Get Into has been piloted in key sectors over the last two years and has shown significant success at getting young people into work. Two-thirds of the young people on Get into Retail are still in jobs three months after the end of the course.

It is the latest move by the charity to tackle underachievement among young people. Last year The Trust launched a vocational qualification, accredited by City and Guilds, for people who complete the charity’s intensive 12-week personal development programme.

The national roll-out of Get Into is in direct response to the recent Leitch review, which warned that UK employment for those with no qualifications has fallen over the past 10 years to 50% compared with the national average of 75%. Earlier this year, a Prince’s Trust report, The Cost of Exclusion, found that youth unemployment cost £10 million every day in lost productivity.

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