Govt Launches £4m Youth Employment Scheme
The government has shown its commitment to improving employment rates among the young, and often defected, portion of society by launching a £4 million scheme to help them get on the career ladder.
It hopes it will help cut youth unemployment even further, with levels having already fallen by 48 per cent since 2010.
According to the Department for Work and Pensions, it hopes to do this by introducing Youth Employability Coaches in Manchester and the West Midlands at a cost of £1.2 million.
These coaches will help give the resources and support to young people to help them get a job. They will also provide assistance for up to six weeks after they start working in an attempt to boost job retention and enable them to gain employability skills that will stand them in good stead for the future.
In addition to this, the government is pledging £2.8 million to be spent on new job apps for the youth. These will be designed to recommend roles, offer skills training, and help people find higher-paid positions. By introducing apps, it is hoped young people will engage in the job-seeking process more and find it easier to secure a position they like.
These apps will be area-focused, enabling those looking for a job to refine their search according to their abilities and experience in the location they want. They will also show jobseekers the skills they require if they want to be considered for higher-paid positions, which could encourage more people to seek further education or gain more work experience.
Dr Therese Coffey, work and pensions secretary, said: “I want to give everyone the best start in life, and every chance to get not just a job, but find that dream job.”
She added: “That is why we will provide extra help for disadvantaged young people and use the latest technology to help people climb the career ladder.”
While the pilots will begin in localised areas, the plan is for the scheme to be rolled out nationwide eventually.
Youth unemployment has shown signs of improving over the last decade already, with 451,000 more young people in jobs now than there were in 2010.
As well as helping more people find jobs best suited to their skillset, the government also hopes to encourage youngsters to boost their wages, so they do not remain stuck in low-paid roles.
What’s more, recent figures show the total number of Brits in employment has risen by 3.7 million since 2010, with three-quarters of these being for full-time, permanent, and higher-skilled jobs. This demonstrates how important these positions are, not just to those who take on these roles, but also for the entire employment industry.
The latest Employment in the UK: September 2019 figures revealed positive news for the sector, as the employment rate remained at the joint-highest on record (76.1 per cent). As well as this, the unemployment rate had fallen over the last year, dropping from four per cent to 3.8 per cent between September 2018 and 2019.
This also represents a decline from 6.1 per cent over the last five years, and has not been at a lower level since October to December 1974.
While the overall jobs market is faring well, the government still wants to help boost the career prospects of young people in particular. This comes after the Office for National Statistics reported there were 792,000 Brits aged between 16 and 24 years old that were not in education, employment or training (NEET) between April and June this year.
This is actually an increase from the previous quarter, rising by 28,000 from January to March 2019. It is also 14,000 higher than during the same three-month period in 2018.
The findings revealed the percentage of young people who were NEET in the UK grew by 0.3 percentage points from the year before and by 0.4 percentage points from January to March, reaching 11.5 per cent.
Of those who were NEET, less than half (41.6 per cent) were actively looking, and available, for work.
There were as many as 330,000 unemployed youth between April and June and 462,000 economically inactive young people, who were not in employment nor seeking work within the previous four weeks.
With Brexit on the horizon, it remains to be seen how leaving the European Union (EU) will impact the youth employment market. Currently the government has not agreed a strategy on how to exit the EU, which means there is an increasing chance a no-deal Brexit will occur by the deadline of October 31st.
If this did take place, this might it affect the number of young people in jobs in Britain, particularly those working in the retail, catering and bar industries where a lot of Europeans are also employed.
Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), also suggests a no-deal Brexit could have repercussions for wages.
She stated chancellor Sajid Javid’s announcement that the National Living Wage will increase to £10.50 per hour within the next five years and the threshold for those who qualify will be lowered from 25 to 21 could be short-sighted.
At the Tory Party Conference earlier this week, the chancellor said increasing the current rate of £8.21 per hour will make Britain “the first major economy in the world to end low pay altogether”, BBC News reported.
While he thought this would “reward the hard work of all millennials”, Ms O’Grady said Mr Javid’s promise “should be taken with a huge bucket of salt”.
The TUC leader stated: “This pledge would be overwhelmed by a no-deal Brexit. If we leave the EU without a deal, jobs will be lost, wages will fall, and our public services will suffer.”
One way to make sure you boost your chances of securing not only a job, but a better-paid one, is to embark on training programmes relevant to your sector.
For those in the drinks industry, having completed a licencing training course could put your CV above other candidates when applying for a job, making you a better prospect to employers.