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Employment: Young People

Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent steps he has taken to assist young people to obtain (a) work and (b) training. (311299)

We have been taking a joined-up approach across Government to ensure that all young adults have the skills they need to obtain a meaningful job with prospects.

In July 2009 we launched Backing Young Britain, a national campaign bringing together businesses, the public sector and third sector organisations to provide a package of support for young people aged 18-24 through and leading out of the recession. The campaign asks organisations to commit to one of three overall aims:

Offering an Apprenticeship

Taking up DWP help to employ a young person

Providing a young person with experience of work

To date, the campaign has been endorsed by 465 organisations from across the private, public and third sectors. Through these opportunities young people can access thousands of work-focused training places, such as internships or Apprenticeships, as well as additional access to advice through mentoring links and Jobcentre Plus adviser time, and jobs through Routes into Work and the Future Jobs Fund.

We are creating at least 120,000 new jobs for young people through the Future Jobs Fund - the first six rounds of bidding will create up to 104,000 jobs. We have brought forward the Young Person's Guarantee so that all 18-24 year-olds still unemployed after six months will be guaranteed access to a job, work-focused training in FE, work experience or a place on a Community Task Force.

We have created the Graduate Talent Pool which has offered over 12,000 vacancies for graduate internships since the launch at the end of July. By March 2010, 20,000 graduate internships overall will have been created in the private, public and third sectors to help young people develop the skills they need to build their employability. For those new graduates who can't find work the Graduate Guarantee ensures that those still unemployed at six months will have access to an internship, training or help to become self employed.

Through the September Guarantee, we offer every 16 and 17 year-old a suitable place in learning. We are building on this with a January Guarantee in 2010, which will offer all 16 and 17 year-olds who are not in education, employment or training this month a place in Entry to Employment provision. We will invest a total of £8.2 billion in 2010-11 to fund learning for 1.6 million young people, and we will increase 16-19 funding by 0.9 per cent. in real terms in 2011-12 and 2012-13 to continue our commitment to the September Guarantee.

We have rescued and expanded Apprenticeships over the last 10 years. We are committing £140 million to provide 35,000 extra Apprenticeship places in 2009-10 and are providing employer subsidies to create 5,000 new Apprenticeships for 16 and 17 year-olds.

In 2010-11 we will switch significant resources from Train to Gain to create a further 35,000 Advanced Apprenticeship places for 19 to 30 year-olds. Boosting the number of Advanced Apprenticeships is critical to our plans for building the skills of young adults and promoting the overall economic health of the nation.

We are also widening participation in higher education, to ensure that all those with the potential and merit to benefit from HE are able and willing to do so.

In December 2009 DCSF, DWP and BIS published Investing in Potential, which sets out current support and our long-term strategy to increase the proportion of 16-24 year-olds in education, employment or training: PageFunction=productdetails&PageMode=publications &ProductId=DCSF-01145-2009.