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The REC has created a coalition of employers, professional recruiters and welfare providers to provide practical solutions on the pressing issue of youth unemployment. The creation of the Youth Employment Taskforce was announced at last months REC National Convention and coincides with the publication of the Governments White Paper on Achieving Full Employment.

The new Taskforce is chaired by Baroness Prosser, Deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and involves high-profile employers such as IBM, Eurostar, RAF, Barratt Homes, BSkyB and NPIA as well as representative bodies such as the CIPD and the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) and a number of leading recruiters and welfare providers.

Commenting on the need to develop practical measures for addressing the youth unemployment crisis, Baroness Prosser, Deputy Chair of the EHRC, says:

"We need to get a real understanding of the attitudes that could be creating barriers to youth employment, and how these can be overcome. We also need to look at innovative approaches to providing young people with the kind of practical experiences and work placements that will enable them to integrate the world of work."

Government's White Paper that was published this week has generated more debate on youth unemployment issues. Commenting on the aims of the Taskforce, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green says:

"The business community has a key role to play in informing discussions on the skills, attitudes and support structures that we need in order to avoid a lost generation of workers. The Taskforce will capture the unique insight of employers and professional recruiters who are in daily contact with young jobseekers and will position the recruitment industry as one of the key voices within this extremely topical debate.

Specific issues that the Youth Employment Taskforce will be focusing on include:

How is the employment landscape evolving, what are the jobs of the future for young job-seekers?

What are the changing attitudes of young people to the world of work and what skills do they need to succeed?

How can we build effective bridges into the world of work and provide young job-seekers with the support to compete in an increasingly competitive labour market?

Over the next few months, the Taskforce will develop practical recommendations on these issues and will provide a business perspective on the policies outlined in the Achieving Full Employment White Paper.

The REC will also be taking part in a CBI round table discussion on youth unemployment issues in January with Employment Minister Jim Knight.


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