Today, the Government unveiled plans to improve work experience opportunities for 18-21 yr olds.
Those in the 16-24 age bracket have been hardest hit by the recent rise in unemployment (see: UK unemployment on the up, with 16-24yr olds hardest hit), with existing legislation making it difficult for them to improve their employability through work experience. Currently, those looking to increase their chances of full-time employment through work experience will lose their benefits if they work for more than two weeks. However, the planned changes to the system would increase this ‘work allowance’ to 8 weeks for people in the 18-21 age bracket.
Additionally, Jobcentre Plus has launched a new scheme which will match unemployed people aged 18-21 with employers who run work experience programmes. The employment minister Chris Grayling has said of the scheme,
“Our new work experience scheme will give young people the chance to get valuable experience in a business for up to two months, which will make a real difference to their confidence, their employability and their prospects.”
The CIPD are also positive about these changes, with Chief Executive, Jackie Orme commenting,
“Our research shows employers are reluctant to hire from groups where they feel basic job skills, experience and reliability are lacking. Work experience is a perfect way to break the vicious circle of no experience/no job, and give young people an opportunity to develop and demonstrate the skills and commitment employers need…I urge CIPD members to go out of their way to make use of this new work experience matching service that the Government and Jobcentre Plus have unveiled today.”
Employers that are already onboard with the scheme are Homebase, Hilton Hotels, McDonalds, Carillion and Punch Taverns with more likely to follow suit in the coming days.
If you would like to register for or receive further information on the scheme please contact your local Jobcenter or visit the Directgov website here.