Firms to be given £1,000 per work experience trainee to stimulate youth employment

apprenticeships
Graduate and apprentice technical workers receive instruction. Photo: Shutterstock

Employers in England will be given £1,000 for each work experience placement they offer to people aged 16-24, as part of plans to reduce the level of unemployment among young people.

Under the proposals set to be announced on Wednesday, Rishi Sunak will pledge 30,000 new traineeships, which will involve classroom-based tuition in maths, English and CV writing, as well as 90 hours of unpaid work experience.

The traineeships will be expected to last between six weeks and six months, and are intended to help those leaving education secure their first job.

England’s scheme will involve £111m of government funding, while similar schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive £21m.

The plans are expected to be announced alongside the chancellor’s economic strategy to deal with the coronavirus crisis,

The Treasury said in a statement to the BBC: “Young people’s employment prospects are expected to be disproportionately affected by the economic fallout of coronavirus.

“Expanding traineeships will be part of a wider package to support young people and to ensure they have the skills and training to go on to high quality, secure and fulfilling employment.”

According to the government, around three quarters of 18-24 year-olds who are not in education, employment or training for three months continue to be out of work and out of education for a 12 months. Meanwhile, those have undertaken a traineeship move into further employment or study within a year.

Last week the Institute of Student Employers predicted that entry-level jobs will be cut by almost a quarter this year. It recommended a 20% wage subsidy for all new apprentices to cover the time they are required to undertake off-the-job training and a reduction in national insurance contributions for staff under 24.

On Wednesday, the chancellor is also expected to announce significant increases to the number of JobCentre staff it employs in a bid to help get people displaced by the pandemic back into work.

He is expected to say that the number of work coaches will double from 13,500 to 27,000, at a cost of around £800m.

Meanwhile, the Observer reported the Treasury was considering plans tank to give all adults £500 and children £250 in vouchers to spend in sectors of the economy hit hardest by the coronavirus.

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