Youth between the ages of 18 and 24 years have reason to rejoice as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has just announced a new Government initiative that is aimed at easing their unemployment rates. The Work Programme, beginning in April 2012, will create 400,000 training and work placements. The Government plans to offer subsidies to employers that take on the youth workers and retain them for six months or more.
Young people without jobs or careers today have suffered from the aversion some companies have to hiring workers without prior experience. Of course, young workers cannot gain experience until they are employed, and this is one of the issues the Work Programme will address. By offering subsidies to businesses to hire young people, the Government is hoping the positive experience of having youthful workers will change the minds of many hiring managers.
The Government wants to help 160,000 young people who are currently unemployed. A person who is offered a work opportunity must take it or face reduction of benefits. Recruitment of workers will be done for the construction, retail and green economy sectors. Katerina Rudiger, a skills policy adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, says, “By giving young people the opportunity to experience the world of work, and the world of work the opportunity of experiencing young people, there’s the potential to benefit everyone.”