There are estimated to be approximately 1 million young people under the age of 24 out of work in the UK at the present. This estimate maybe substantially underplaying the scale of the problem, when you factor in that this headline figure doesn’t take account of either students or those who are not actively seeking work. The government has tried various initiatives to resolve this problem, but has so far failed to deliver any suitable solution. Contrast this with what’s happening on the Channel island of Jersey, where a record number of 16 to 19 year olds have been offered work as part of a government training scheme. A substantial number of these trainees have subsequently progressed from training and gone on to be offered full time work. Why has Jersey succeeded where the UK has seemingly so spectacularly failed? Well, it appears the answer may simply be down toand training.
The island’s Advance to Work project brings together teenage job seekers and employers from a range of industries, including building and hospitality, sales and the car trade. Since it launched in 2011, 648 people have taken part in the scheme, with 60 percent of trainees who leave moving into paid employment as a direct result of the scheme. In 2010 – the first full year of the scheme – seven offers were made. In 2011, 31 trainees were offered work. During March this year alone, 20 offers of employment were made to trainees. Organisers claim that 48 teenagers were offered work between January and March compared to 31 during the same time in 2011. According to the project organisers this success rate was largely attributable to good training, suitable placements and an advanced mentoring scheme.
Advance to Work Project Manage, Sophie Le Sueur, said the rising number of employment offers from a range of industry sectors – including hospitality, administration, construction, motor vehicle, hair and beauty and retail sales and customer service – was great news for both the team and for the trainees. Of the job offers received, ten were in roles generated by the States of Jersey Back to Work hospitality initiative which is engaging with hospitality employers to provide jobs for locally qualified job-seekers.
“Job offers for our trainees are the best evidence we have of the success of Advance to Work and its mix of placement, training and mentoring and I am delighted that despite the economic climate the number of trainees entering work appears to be rising. The boost provided by the roles in hospitality is also a welcome one,” stated Miss Le Sueur.