Apprenticeships: a Tool to Tackle Youth Unemployment

Apprenticeships tackle unemployment

See the business benefits

With youth unemployment at an all-time high, and graduates struggling to find degree related careers after graduation, many companies are beginning to see the benefits of hiring apprentices as an integral part of their employment process. It gives the chance to provide young people with valuable hands-on experience as well as the opportunity to learn and earn on the job. The wages for apprenticeships do vary quite substantially, from the apprentice minimum wage of £2.65 for 16-18 year olds to salaried positions.

Employing apprentices benefits not only the applicant but the company who hire them. It is an economic way of recruiting, providing a probation period where the applicant can grow into the job rather than both parties committing to full time employment in the first instance.

Statistics show that youth unemployment costs the nation 11bn pounds a year. Targeting this figure are The Sixteen-Twenty Four Alliance, a group of companies which have linked up in an attempt to support young people in achieving their career ambitions.

The popularity of apprenticeships is demonstrated by the figures, with a massive rise of 50% in Britain in the past year. Most major companies look for some form of work experience on a CV, and nowadays that is often considered to be even more relevant than a degree.

Apprenticeships in professional services are also becoming more common, with large companies such as Rolls Royce and Virgin Media establishing their own schemes. The energy company E.ON targeted areas of high unemployment such as Birmingham and Nottingham, employing 80 young people to train as energy assessors. as Rolls Royce opened a new academy on 2nd November in Derby; they have a high success rate of 98% for their applicants. In addition, Microsoft have stated that they will be creating up to 300,000 positions in the next three years, with Hugh Milward noting that “temporary joblessness can easily become a long-term problem, a downward spiral of disappointment leading to despair. Nor does it contribute to a healthy economy. But we believe we can help solve that skills challenge.”