From today (Monday, 25 January 2010) every young person who is unemployed for six months will be guaranteed the offer of a job, training or work experience, supported by up to 470,000 opportunities over the next 15 months through the Government’s Young Person’s Guarantee.

Latest figures show up to 100,000 unemployed young people will be eligible to benefit from the guarantee straight away. Despite last week’s welcome fall in youth unemployment Ministers believe it’s time to do more and increase the help as the economy recovers.

As the guarantee becomes available across the UK, Ministers are calling for businesses to keep Backing Young Britain by creating even more opportunities for young people. They will promise Government support to businesses who give young people a job, apprenticeship or internship.

Young people are already getting help from the major increase in education and training places this year, and the expansion of specialist help and support through job centres working with local employers. Hundreds of thousands of young people have already received help to find work, training or an education place. However Ministers believe more help is needed as the economy recovers to avoid the problem of youth unemployment continuing to rise for years after the recession has ended.

Yvette Cooper, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, told employers and young people at a breakfast event in Downing Street today that it’s critical to continue investing, saying:

“The extra investment has already been critical to keeping unemployment 450,000 lower than expected. But despite the latest welcome fall in unemployment, now is the time to increase help not cut it back. We need to make sure young people do not suffer the scarring effects of long term unemployment.

“Extra help is already available to young people and many thousands more are in work, education or training as a result. But we want to guarantee every young person the right support. That’s why this guarantee is starting now, as the school leavers and graduates of last summer who couldn’t find work because of the recession start to approach six months unemployment. It’s why it’s so important for employers and Government to continue working together to Back Young Britain.”

The new Young Person’s Guarantee will provide up to 470,000 extra job and training opportunities for young people over next 15 months. The guarantee offers:

the opportunity to apply for new jobs created through the £1bn Future Jobs Fund;
extra training and support to get an existing job – with help especially targeted at key employment sectors with high levels of recruitment;
work-focused training;
a place on a Community Task Force;
help with self-employment;
internships for Graduates and non-Graduates.
To date there have been over 104,000 successful bids to create jobs through the Future Jobs Fund over the next fifteen months, with the first young people having already started work in jobs ranging from housing officers to football coaches. Over 480,000 people, including almost 100,000 18 – 24 year olds have been placed into jobs and work trials through the Local Employment Partnerships scheme. So far, 50,000 employers have signed up to work with Jobcentre Plus through this partnership.

Yvette Cooper announced that from today tailored training for a wide range of sectors is now available across the country to help young people get a foot onto the career ladder. This means that employer demands can be met across a wide range of sectors.

Yvette Cooper also confirmed that as part of the guarantee all young people who will be given access to a named Jobcentre Plus Personal Adviser. This continuity of support is really important in helping young people build an effective relationship with their adviser, so that they can get the help and support they need.

Speaking at the breakfast event, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said:

“Young people have been at the centre of Government’s response to unemployment and the recession, but we must not be complacent. Our support is an investment in our future as we build a stronger Britain.”

A new taskforce also launched today will ensure skilled and motivated careers professionals give all young people high-quality advice, while three regional roadshows will encourage dozens more employers to offer more and better work experience placements.

The Careers Profession Taskforce, led by Dame Ruth Silver, chair of the Learning and Skills and Improvement Service, will report its findings to Government in summer 2010.

Schools Minister Iain Wright said:

“The Taskforce will play a key role in ensuring the next generation of careers professionals can deliver our ambition that all young people get the best advice so that they unlock their potential.

“Good work experience is vital if young people are to discover what the world of work is all about and become really excited by a career. The road-shows will focus on quantity and quality – more employers offering more and better work placements.”

Key Facts

  1. The Young Person’s Guarantee is part of the wider Backing Young Britain Campaign designed to address youth unemployment.
  2. The Young Person’s Guarantee is available to all Jobseekers aged 18 – 24 from January 2010. Personal Advisers will work with customers to create a personalised back-to-work plan by drawing on an expanded menu of support that brings together the Six Month Offer, Backing Young Britain and the Guarantee:
  3. The relevant offers are:
    the opportunity to apply new jobs created through the Future Jobs Fund (FJF)
    support to apply for an existing job in a key employment sector
    work-focused training
    a place on a Community Task Force
    help with self-employment
    internships for Graduates and non-Graduates
  4. The Guarantee will be supported by over 400,000 Government funded training, internship, work experience and job opportunities. This will include a target of 16,000 apprenticeship places through the Future Jobs Fund.
  5. We will offer all young people access to a named Personal Adviser at the start of their claim and adviser will work with young people throughout their claim. Our advisers will begin conversations about the guarantee with young people as they approach the 6 month point of their claim to JSA.
  6. Through a new Graduate Guarantee we will guarantee any new graduate still unemployed after six months access to an internship, training or help to become self-employed.
  7. From April 2010 young people will be required to take up one of the Guarantee offers by the 10-month point of their claim.
  8. The Careers Profession Taskforce will look at a number of issues, including retention of careers professionals, ensuring that the profession is diverse and reflects the make-up of the working population, and whether all career specialists should hold a specialist qualification.
  9. The three regional roadshow “Big Conversation” events will be held in partnership with Business in the Community in Leeds on February 12; in Nottingham on March 16; and in Manchester on March 18.