Newham’s young need help to find work

An east London charity is calling on the Government to give young people more help with finding work.

The call, from the Jack Petchy Foundation, comes after research has revealed that almost three quarters of young people do not feel enough is being done to help them find work.

The Foundation has launched the ‘Listen Up! 2011’ report, based on a survey of more than 5,000 young people aged 11–25. It outlines their views on education and employment as well as the Big Society and the impact of public spending cuts on youth services.

Despite facing the most challenging economic situation in 30 years, more than a third (40 per cent) of young people say that their ambitions for the future haven’t changed in the last 12 months but that they will have to work harder to give themselves the best chance of success. Consequently more than half (53 per cent) are taking, or plan to take, a course to gain more skills, 40 per cent of young people volunteer and 42 per cent are doing unpaid work to gain employment experience.

Trudy Kilcullen, Chief Operations Officer at the Jack Petchey Foundation, said: “Current unemployment figures show how valid young people’s concerns are with an alarming number of 16-24 year-olds currently out of work. We recognise there are efforts being made to provide more opportunities for young people but ‘Listen Up! 2011’ shows knowledge of these schemes isn’t filtering through to hard-working youngsters who want to take advantage of them. There is also still a serious shortfall in the number of apprenticeships and internships, and we are calling on government, businesses and funders to do all they can to ensure young people don’t end up on the scrap heap.”

Despite the government’s announcement that it will fund 40,000 extra apprenticeships, a third (36 per cent) of young people think more should be created, according to the report. 40 per cent think that more businesses should be encouraged to set up internship programmes to provide the work experience future employers will be looking for on their CVs.