Anyone who follows my work in Parliament will know that since the General Election, I have regularly raised the issue of youth employment and training opportunities. It is heartening, that since taking office, the level of youth unemployment has fallen. We need to do a lot more to make sure our young people are equipped for the modern job market and have every opportunity to gain employment. Government backed schemes such as the Work Programme and new apprenticeships are vital for areas like Great Yarmouth.
Work and Pensions Questions – Monday 18th July
Brandon Lewis: What steps he is taking to support young people into work.
The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Chris Grayling): We are doing three things to help young people into work. Our work experience scheme will provide an opportunity for up to 100,000 young people to get their first taste of the workplace over the next two years. We have launched tens of thousands of new apprenticeships that are designed to build a career for young people. Through the Work programme, we are providing specialist back-to-work support for those who are struggling to get into work, the longer-term unemployed and those who come from the most challenging backgrounds.
Brandon Lewis: In an area like Great Yarmouth, which has above average unemployment and in some cases third generation unemployment, those projects are hugely important in getting young people back into work. To help promote the opportunities for businesses, will the Minister outline how many people have undertaken and will undertake work experience this year?
Chris Grayling: The latest figures show that at the end of the first quarter, give or take, about 10,000 young people had so far benefited from our work experience scheme. Employers have so far committed to provide about 35,000 places. I am very optimistic that the scheme will deliver real opportunities for young people, some of whom have started to get into work through the placements.
18th July 2011