The Government has announced the launch of a programme aimed at providing young people with the skills needed to get jobs and apprenticeships.
"Traineeships", set to be introduced later this year, will be aimed at improving the work-readiness of young people (those aged between 16 and 24) by offering "work-preparation training", including CV writing and interview training, as well as work experience and English and maths courses for candidates who have not achieved a GCSE C grade or higher in those subjects.
The six-month courses are aimed at addressing long-standing complaints from employers that many young job seekers lack the basic skills and experience necessary for employment, as well as reducing the number of young people currently not in education, employment or training (NEETs).
According to the Government, a 2012 education and skills survey published by the CBI found that 61% of employers were unsatisfied with the self-management skills of school leavers. Employers were also not satisfied with their literacy and numeracy skills - 35% and 30% respectively.
Skills minister Matthew Hancock said: "We want to support everyone in our country to reach their personal best. To do that, we are introducing Traineeships to help young people with the skills they need to get, and hold down, a job.
"Traineeships will give young people the helping hand and experience they need to compete for apprenticeships and good jobs."
The Government has invited employers to comment on the proposals via a discussion paper published today.
Ann Pickering, HR director at O2, welcomed the announcement but stressed that employers have a role to play in increasing young people's preparedness for the workplace: "Today's announcement is another positive step towards helping young people unlock their true potential and take their first steps into the world of work. Young jobseekers have skills that large swathes of workers don't - they are digital natives. However, currently many don't get the opportunity to demonstrate the digital knowledge that they can bring into the workplace.
"However, while government initiatives like this are vital for young people, all businesses have a role to play in giving them the opportunities they need to prepare them on the road to employment. Whether that