SCHOOL-LEAVERS in Halton could be offered a support and skills programme to better equip them for the job market, under plans announced by the Government.
Skills minister Matthew Hancock said the ‘traineeship’ programme could be a crucial stepping stone to an apprenticeship or other opportunities in a competitive market of experienced adults.
Employers, education and training providers and young people are invited to comment on the initial proposals to help shape the new programme.
Leading Halton accountant Nigel Holland said it is an ‘opportunity which should not be missed by youngsters in Widnes and Runcorn’.
He said: “Aimed at 16-24 year olds, the programme would launch later in the year and offer work placements alongside support, including studies in English and maths, CV writing and interview preparation.
“The length of the traineeship scheme would reflect the specific needs of participants but would be expected to last around six months.
“Last year the Forum Of Private Business (FPB) urged the Government to do more to help young adults after concerns from employers highlighted that many lacked the basic skills and attitudes for employment.
“The traineeship programme also aims to tackle the high youth unemployment rate in the UK.
“Although the numbers are falling, there were still 206,000 16-18 year olds and 821,000 19-24 year olds not in education, employment or training in the third quarter of 2012, according to figures from the Department For Education.”
On the new scheme Mr Hancock said: “We know that many young people, including those who are not in education, employment or training, are highly motivated by work, or the prospect of it.
“We need to ensure that young people are well-equipped with the skills to impress potential employers and to secure and succeed in jobs, including apprenticeships.”