On the eve of the launch of the Government’s January Guarantee for 16-17 year-olds, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) today warns that the Guarantee package does not go far enough to address the alarming rise in the number of long-term unemployed 16-17 year olds.
While the CIPD supports the Guarantee; the Institute believes that this will still leave thousands of 16-17 year olds unemployed facing an extended period of unemployment owing to the supply shortages of apprenticeships and the particular difficulties this age group has in securing work in a tight labour market. The Young Person’s Guarantee for 18-24 year olds, which will provide 170, 000 jobs to 18-24 year olds during the next couple of years, while welcome, risks exacerbating the problems faced by 16-17 year old job seekers.
The Institute therefore believes that the solution lies in a new six-month work placement subsidy of £1,250 for 16-17 year-olds that have been unemployed for more than six months. This would complete the support package for 16-17 year olds and meet the needs of some of the hardest to reach young people.
Gerwyn Davies, Public Policy Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development comments:
“Although the January Guarantee is welcome, it is unlikely to offer a full solution to the youth unemployment crisis that will not reach its peak until the second half of 2010. Giving young people education places and formal training opportunities is a laudable aim, and one we support. However, while apprenticeships are often seen as the silver bullet, many of our members say that they are not in a position yet to offer apprenticeships, even with a cash incentive. Promising apprenticeships that are not available is not enough. Meanwhile, the extra support for education places has done little to curb the rise in unemployment.”
“The work placement idea however would give more young people the opportunity to learn key employability skills, and give employers greater flexibility around training opportunities. The limited subsidy we’re proposing would be a relatively inexpensive way of preventing the futures of thousands of young people’s working lives being blighted for many years.”