Government announces 1bn youth employment initiative
Government announces £1bn youth employment initiative
Today the Government is announcing a £1 billion initiative that it hopes will provide hope for the million young people who are currently out of work. Nick Clegg is announcing his youth contract scheme that will give employers subsidies worth £2,275 to take on 160,000 18 to 24 year olds over a three year period.
Carmen Watson, Managing Director of Pertemps Recruitment Partnership, said, “This contract model will go a long way in providing sustainable employment that the UK jobs market desperately needs. Far too often have we seen measures that fail to have a long term effect because they don’t go deep enough in tackling the root problems of long term youth unemployment.
“Providing subsidies to private sector employers will directly engage businesses and encourage them to act in confidence, take on new young workers, and at the same time secure the future of their own companies. This scheme is a much needed effort to tackle joblessness among young people but it should only been seen as one step in the journey towards reaching this goal. However, a much more far-reaching initiative is required to dramatically reduce what is an incredibly worrying situation.”
Deputy PM’s youth employment measures reflect REC Taskforce recommendations
The REC has welcomed Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's announcement of the Government's scheme to help 160k young people into work by paying businesses £2275 per person. A further 250k work experience places will be made available. Incentivising employers to take on young job-seekers was one of the key recommendations of the REC's Youth Employment Taskforce last year.
Commenting on the measures, Kevin Green, REC Chief Executive says:
"Creating fiscal incentives to take on young people is an important step forward and is something we have been calling for as a way of stimulating demand. This is a good win for our campaign on youth employment which has been driven by the practical input of recruiters and employers who are in daily contact with young job-seekers”.
“The key will be to ensure that the incentive scheme is easy to administer for employers. We have already seen businesses struggle with apprenticeships due to the administrative complexities which is why a number of recruitment providers have stepped in to play a key intermediary role."
Looking ahead at next steps and at the role of recruiters, Kevin concludes:
"In addition to stimulating demand, we need to focus on supply and ensure that young job-seekers have the skills, mindset, aspirations and awareness to succeed. We need a careers guidance network which is fit for purpose and helps young people make informed choices. We also need the business community to play its part by working with schools and colleges. The recruitment industry is playing a leading role through the Youth Employment Charter which is already generating hugely positive stories about the role that recruiters are playing."
Charles Logan, Director at Hays, comments on today’s Youth Contract Fund announced by the government, which provides £2,275 in cash for every young person hired through the Work Programme and intensive help for 16/17 year old NEETs (Not in Education Employment or Training) costing £50m:
“Incentives which encourage companies to take on young people are essential and we welcome the government's decision to provide a significant cash incentive for businesses to do just that. Despite today's high levels of unemployment, many of the employers we speak to find it difficult to find the skills they need and they will continue to do so unless action is taken. We need to make sure that these incentives are aligned to the job areas where there is a shortage of talented people so they generate the right skills to fuel the UK economy. Improving education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) subjects, encouraging young people to study in the areas that offer the best job prospects and providing access to expert career advice are all critical elements of ensuring that we aren't faced with the same situation of acute skills shortages at the same time as high levels of unemployment again in the future. We need to equip people with the skills our employers need to support their business growth and make it easier for our employers to create the opportunities for those people.”