The £1bn youth contract, which introduced a number of schemes to reduce unemployment has been called ‘a good start’ by the Work and Pensions Select Committee but isn’t enough ‘to address the current unacceptably high level of youth unemployment’.
Liz Field, CEO of the Financial Skills Partnership, said, “For any scheme of this nature to work, companies must be made aware of the wonderful contribution young people can make in their workplace and be fully committed to providing jobs as well as apprenticeships, work placements and school leaver programmes.”
The Financial Skills Partnership has launched the pilot for its Graduate Foundation College which puts bright unemployed graduates through a concentrated structured 10-week training programme to which major sector employers such as Aviva, Just Retirement and Scottish Widows are contributing. Successful graduates will then enjoy six months of paid industry experience with a small or medium-sized advisory firm. Elsewhere, its Directions portal provides young people with in-depth information about careers in financial services, and opportunities with major companies in the sector.
Liz concluded, “Within the financial services sector, there has been an increase in the number of routes into many companies at various levels, not just for graduates. Apprenticeships are now much more common in white collar careers such as finance and, with the cooperation and buy-in from the businesses themselves they will be hugely beneficial – not just in reducing unemployment but in creating a future for their respective industries.”