Working to get young people into jobs

Young unemployed people will be able to do more valuable work experience after changes to the way work placements are run, it was announced today (Monday).

Employment minister Chris Grayling launched a new scheme to allow those aged 18 to 21 claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance to work up to eight weeks at a company, rather than the current two.

Until now those who wanted longer work placements faced having their benefits cut.

The minister said: “Our new work experience scheme will give young people the chance to get valuable experience in a business for up to two months, which will make a real difference to their confidence, their employability and their prospects. This government is making the changes that will give young people access to jobs and opportunities that can help them towards a brighter future.

“Employers will be key to getting young people into work. This programme is a way of not only providing quality work experience but also of introducing individuals to the modern world of work.”

Under the new initiative young people will be matched by Jobcentre Plus with employers looking for people to do work experience. Staff will now work with businesses across Comet country to find work experience opportunities. Companies already involved include Homebase, Hilton Hotels, McDonalds, ISS Facilities Management, Chums, De Vere Hotels, Carillion, Coyle Personnel and Punch Taverns.

Tim Hutchings, chief exec of Herts Chamber of Commerce, said while he welcomed the move, employers needed to be given proper support.

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“It’s not without its challenges. Some people are out of work for reasons beyond their control, while others for reasons very much in their control. We find all sorts of issues around it. It maybe around the young person or maybe it’s a small company that isn’t used to managing these people.

He added: “Some of the bureaucracy makes life difficult – CRB checks, health and safety checks that go way beyond the risk.

“We would encourage the scheme but on the basis that it’s properly run.”