Posts Tagged 'young people'

Helping young people into work

Below is my response to a letter from Cllr. Warren Morgan which appeared in the Argus recently:

Cllr. Warren Morgan is not in any position to lecture the Conservative Party about youth unemployment (Argus letters, 30th June).

The previous Labour Government left 5 million people languishing on out of work benefits and, due to the deep recession which they presided over, youth unemployment was already rapidly rising when the Coalition Government took over. Furthermore, many of the jobs created over the last 10 years or so that should have been taken by our young people were filled by non-British nationals – the proportion more than doubled under Labour. So much for Gordon Brown’s boast of ‘British jobs for British workers’.

Cllr. Morgan seems to have conveniently forgotten that the Coalition Government recently announced it would fund an additional 80,000 work experience places for young people and allocate £180 million to provide up to 50,000 additional apprenticeship places over the next four years – considerably more than Labour planned.

He also doesn’t tell readers that at the last Budget Council meeting, his Labour Group (along with the Greens) failed to back our proposed £100,000 investment to establish a new Local Apprenticeship Fund and to give additional funding to the Brighton & Hove Education Business Partnership, which provides young people with a range of work-related learning activities.

You are quite right Cllr. Morgan that creating new jobs will help to reduce our enormous budget deficit. Therefore, I’m sure you will welcome the fact that over half a million jobs have been created in the private sector over the last year – more than 3 times higher than the reduction in public sector employment. If we don’t take steps now to live within our means as a country we’ll end up paying higher taxes or making deeper spending cuts just to pay-off our debt Putting off deficit reduction measures, as Labour want, will only create more problems for young people further down the line.

Creating opportunities for young people in Brighton & Hove

In many ways, we are extremely fortunate in Brighton & Hove in having one of the most highly educated workforces in the country. This is great news, in particular, for our digital, new media and creative sectors, which have begun to thrive in recent years and attract many university graduates to stay on in the City. However, this success does have an unfortunate side-effect in that it makes it more difficult for non-graduates to enter the workforce, even into relatively low paid jobs.

Therefore, as a Council, it is vitally important that we do everything we can to work with schools, colleges and local businesses to ensure that those young people who choose not to go to university don’t get left behind. I strongly believe that all young people in this City should be able to access the jobs market on an equal footing.

The work of the Brighton & Hove Education Business Partnership (EBP), which is a professional body accredited by the Institute of Education Business Excellence, is a key part of our strategy to provide work-related support links for young people in the City. They have been established for 12 years now and have a fantastic track record working with schools, colleges and businesses to provide opportunities in preparing young people for the world of work.

The EBP also work with some of the City’s more vulnerable young people, such as those with Special Educational Needs or those leaving care. For example, just this week they organised an event at Hillside Special School which offered the pupils training and advice on how to manage their finances and other consumer affairs issues. This is essential for vulnerable young people in the city.

Of course a vital part of helping young people into their chosen career path is through apprenticeships. New research carried out for the Government shows that every £1 spent on providing apprenticeships brings a massive £40 return to the economy. The value is obvious, both for the individual in terms of his or her future prosperity, but also to the wider economy. Here in Brighton & Hove we recently worked with local employers to successfully complete our 100 in 100 campaign – creating 100 apprenticeships in 100 days. But we must maintain this momentum in ensuring that young people are properly prepared to join the workforce. And as a country, it is sad to say that we still lag way behind places like Germany and Finland, where apprenticeships are embedded in the education system.

Therefore, it was very disappointing that our proposals at the recent Budget Council meeting to put the EBP on a sustainable footing, and through the City Employment Skills Initiative, to establish a new local Future Apprenticeships Fund, were voted down. It is certainly a shame to have to bring politics into an issue which should generate cross-party agreement but I believe that the young people of Brighton & Hove have been badly let down. If passed, this would have been a significant investment in our future work force in the city, which in these tough economic times, could have transformed lives.


council twitterfeed

August 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031