Saturday, 26 January 2013

Youth jobs crisis

I am determined that we tackle youth unemployment.

As Deputy City Mayor I have prioritised youth unemployment and have worked to develop new programmes in the city to get young people into jobs. The Labour government's Future Jobs Fund was an excellent scheme and was popular with employers and the young people who it got into work.

I have met young people who benefited from the Future Jobs Fund and others who are currently benefiting from work-based training, including city council apprentices. Earlier this week councillors heard from apprentices working for the city council's housing department. Last year, when I was responsible for transport at the city council, I introduced a new apprenticeship scheme for highways.

Towards the end of last year we launched the Leicester Economic Action Plan including the Leicester to Work programme. I have led the development of the Leicester to Work programme which includes a range of measures to tackle youth unemployment including: creating 130 more apprenticeships; introducing Step-Up, a paid work placement scheme and creating graduate placements in local businesses.

We have had a good response from employers interested in participating in Step-Up and offering new opportunities to young people looking for work, with financial support for the job from the city council.

Meeting rail apprentices at Vital Skills with MEP Glenis Willmott.

I am looking forward to visiting Stride in Leicester next week. Stride operates as a social enterprise offering a wide range of training opportunities for young people.

It is crucial we avoid a lost generation and respond to the youth jobs crisis. Labour councils are working hard to do this, including in Derby and Nottingham. We need urgent action from the coalition government.

My article on youth unemployment for Labour Uncut can be read here.
A blog by Labour MEP Glenis Willmott on our visit to meet rail apprentices.

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