Youth jobs scheme expansion wins employers’ backing

More than 150 employers, including Microsoft and Pfizer, are said to be supporting the government’s Backing Young Britain campaign.

Under the scheme, 45,000 young people will be helped to find jobs in retail, tourism, leisure and hospitality, as part of a £5bn government investment.

Retailer Morrisons has also pledged to give extra training to every one of its 36,000 employees under 25. And employers including Centrica, Carillion and Royal Mail will also create further apprenticeships.

Business secretary Lord Mandelson told the BBC: “We have both a moral obligation and an economic need to make sure that young people involuntarily without jobs aren’t lost to work.”

He said that the campaign meant the government would help companies train young people, include mentoring and internships, depending on the age.

About 935,000 young people in England are not in employment or training, the last set of official figures showed.

However, employers are concerned that the government may focus investment on training and jobs for young adults at the expense of older workers.

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