Business heavyweights from the CBI and British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) have joined the CIPD and TUC in urging employers to help tackle the growing problem of youth unemployment.
In an advert due to be published in the press next week, key figures including Richard Lambert, director-general of the CBI, and Jackie Orme, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), will urge employers in an open letter to give more young people jobs and help prevent them falling into worklessness.
Mike Rake, chairman of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), is also writing personally to the heads of all FTSE 100 companies, urging them to support young people by offering more apprenticeships, work placements and work experience.
The open letter will say: “There are many practical things employers can do. We can provide work experience to help young people learn about work, make contacts and boost their CVs. We can offer them apprenticeships. We can offer them internships.”
It goes on to list several more options for helping young people stay connected to the jobs marketplace, including work trials, mentoring schemes or work-based training.
The letter will call on firms to join the Backing Young Britain campaign, launched last summer to encourage employers to offer work opportunities or experience to jobless youngsters.
“Each of our organisations has signed up to Backing Young Britain, and we hope you will too,” it says.
The latest unemployment figures found there were 932,000 16 to 24-year-olds out of work in the three months to October 2009.
The organisations that have signed the open letter are: UKCES, the CBI, the TUC, Business in the Community, the BCC, the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses, The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils, the CIPD, and the Chartered Management Institute.