The Workers Union has urged the government to do more to help young people’s job prospects.
The Treasury recently announced that it expects young people to be ‘disproportionately affected’ by the economic fall out of Coronavirus. The Chancellor hopes to combat the situation by offering firms cash incentives to create traineeships.
£1,000 will be available to employers for each work experience placement. The money will part-fund the recruitment of those aged between 16 and 24. There will be classroom-based tuition in core subjects such as maths, English and CV writing. This will run alongside 90 hours of unpaid work experience.
The chancellor is expected to outline the plans in detail on Wednesday.
The Workers Union says
The Workers Union was amongst the first organisations to react to the announcement. Chief spokesman, Johnathan Morgan, said: ‘We’re pleased to see the government is taking the issue of youth employment seriously. But we’re not convinced that work experience opportunities are the right way forward.
‘COVID-19 has established a new normal for all of us. Nobody knows quite how the job market is going to be affected. What we do know is getting out of the economic red is going to take some time. Companies are likely to be cautious in their recruitment plans and may prefer experience over youth. That means the more we invest in young people’s future the better their life chances.
‘Offering a £110 million fund for unpaid training is a small step in the right direction. But much more remains to be done.’
Mr Morgan also commented on Boris Johnson’s recent pledge to “build, build, build”, saying: ‘Nothing will be built if present trends continue. Since the pandemic rocked the construction trade, employers have been reluctant to take on new starters. The government’s plans will also be significantly curtailed by the lack of apprenticeship places. This crisis is a long term issue and now is the time to invest in dealing with it.
‘As a Union we’re campaigning to make paid apprenticeships a key feature of the COVID recovery plan. We think this is a more coherent way of creating the jobs, growth and skills our country needs than the current plans.’
The Workers Union – Britain’s hardest working union