From education to employment

Government boosts Traineeships with extra £20 million

The government has set aside an extra £20 million to fund Traineeships as Prime Minister David Cameron declares all 16-25 years olds should be learning or working.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock announced the financial boost to the Traineeships programme, which was launched in August and aims to help 16 to 23 year olds into jobs and apprenticeships.

Kirstie Donnelly, director of product, learning and technology at awarding body City & Guilds, said the investment is “encouraging”, but the country is still a long way from every young person having the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.

“Today’s announcement about additional funding for traineeships certainly shows the government recognises how work experience benefits young people,” she said.

“It provides insight into the workplace and how to apply classroom knowledge in real-life situations. These are qualities employers often say school-leavers lack. There’s still a long way to go to ensure that every young person, whatever path they take, has a chance to gain the valuable insight that high-quality work experience offers.”

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) also said comments about all 16-25 either earning or learning raises questions about whether companies will be able to provide enough apprenticeships, training places and full-time jobs for all the young people who are unemployed – currently nearly a million.

Mary Bousted, ATL’s general secretary, questioned how the government could meet this commitment for young people with disabilities “who may find it extremely difficult to get a training place or job”.

She said: “The government should stop this back of an envelope piecemeal approach to education and training policy, with announcements that haven’t been properly thought through. It may grab the headlines, but it won’t work in practice.”

Duncan Drury


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