Worcestershire County Council and partners have been working hard to ensure more positive outcomes for young people in the future.
Youth claimants to the Department of Work and Pensions has increased nationally by 116% since March.
During lockdown, young people were more likely to be furloughed or made redundant, while some businesses halted new employment altogether.
In April, Careers Worcestershire launched a dedicated careers helpline targeted at 16-24 year olds who required information, advice and guidance on their next steps.
Last week locally in Worcestershire, Here2Help Business was launched. This includes a specialist graduate grant for employers, so they can access funding to hire a graduate for a one year placement which in turn will help the number of opportunities in Worcestershire for our graduates.
The Worcestershire Apprenticeships programme has also been continuing to offer information and advice, taking calls for students, schools, parents/carers and young people , whilst currently apprenticeship recruitment is down, a number of Worcestershire employers remain committed to supporting young people into their workforces.
Worcestershire County Councillor Marcus Hart, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Education and Skills said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to support young people as much as this in such a difficult time. However, we will be continuing to offer this help throughout the rest of the pandemic, and beyond.
“We have a great apprenticeships programme, and the new grant for graduates is going to really help increase that employment figure in Worcestershire.”
Judy Chadwick, Skills and Investment Group Manager and Worcestershire LEP Director of Skills said: “The last few months have been tough for everyone, but especially those who have recently finished school, or graduated. The careers helpline has supported a host of young people considering both their current situation, and the choices they have for education starting in September and where employment options can be found.
“We’ve been working hard to support young people in the best way possible and provided information and guidance so they’re well placed to find work and education choices. I would encourage any young person moving from year 11 and year 13 to access the summer webinars to understand the choices they have and to verify that they are confident in the choices they are making”
The recent HM Government Summer statement will open up a number of opportunities for our young people looking to access work including apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities.
The County Council is currently reviewing the opportunities we have to support these schemes including the Kickstart Scheme. Announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on June 8, the scheme will offer six month work placements for 16-24 year olds and all Worcestershire employers are encouraged to consider how these schemes could work for them.
The Careers Worcestershire team are holding webinars next month for young people receiving GCSE or A-Level results this summer.
Find out more information and book your place now.