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Think tank presents four-point plan to tackle jobs crisis
8:00pm Wednesday 4th December 2013 in News
A THINK TANK has called on the Government to tackle youth unemployment by developing ‘gold standard’ apprenticeships, ensuring careers advice is properly resourced and offering concessionary travel to the long-term out of work.
In its submission to Chancellor George Osborne ahead of the Autumn Statement, The Work Foundation presented its four-point plan on how to address the UK’s jobs crisis among young people.
During the economic slump, unemployment among 18 to 24 year olds in St Helens reached a 16 year high, with more than 2,000 claiming jobless benefits 18 months ago.
That number has since dropped to 1,400 but, nationally and locally, ensuring young people find good, permanent jobs remains a goal.
The Work Foundation called set for a four-point plan, which states:
• The establishment of ‘gold standard’ apprenticeships within sectors employing large numbers of young people. An extension of the Government’s pilot Trailblazer scheme, with a focus on developing apprenticeships in service sectors including health and social care, business administration and customer services.
• On careers advice, the government should ensure it is properly resourced and of sufficient quality and that no-one leaves school without meaningful experience of work. It is calling for a £50 million fund to pilot innovative approaches and for the reinstatement of the statutory requirement for schools to provide work experience opportunities for young people aged 14-16.
• On transport barriers, the government should guarantee concessionary fares for young people who have been unemployed for 12 months or more, both during their work search and for their first month in employment. And current transport assistance for school-aged children should be extended to all young people in line with increases in the participation age.
• Finally, the government needs to better support the development of local approaches that tackle youth unemployment by pooling the remaining Youth Contract monies and making them available for areas to bid for develop local approaches to tackling youth unemployment.
Lizzie Crowley, head of youth unemployment programmes at The Work Foundation, said: “The Autumn Statement takes place against the general backdrop of falling unemployment and strengthening economic growth, yet the youth unemployment crisis shows no sign of abating.
“The number of unemployed young people in the UK stands at almost one million and, unlike general unemployment figures, this number has hardly fallen since the start of the recovery.
“Our recommendations on apprenticeships, careers advice, transport barriers and an improved local provision of services are all designed to ensure that the government addresses the long-term structural problems and that young people aren’t left behind in the economic recovery."
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