CBI calls for new apprenticeships to tackle youth unemployment

| August 24, 2009 | 0 Comments

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is urging the Government to deal with the growing levels of youth unemployment and is calling for £125 million of the Government’s £500 million recruitment subsidy fund to be spent on creating 50,000 new apprenticeships.

The growing problem was highlighted last week by the Prince’s Trust and the University of Sheffield, who revealed challenging times for school leavers and graduates this summer.

Professor Danny Dorling, from the University of Sheffield, said: “The rate of youth unemployment in the recession to come will depend almost entirely on what opportunities young people are offered.”

The report pointed out that if the number of young people on the dole tips over the one million mark, this summer’s school leavers will be the hardest hit since the 1929 crash.

The latest figures show that the number of young people unemployed neared the one million mark in the three months to the end of June, while unemployment overall jumped to a 15-year high of 2.43 million.

Under the CBI’s proposals, businesses would receive a subsidy of £2,500 towards the cost of training each extra apprentice.

CBI director-general, Richard Lambert, said: “We know that the experience of unemployment tends to affect young people more adversely than most other age groups, and we must learn from the 1980s when too many were left out of work for too long,”

According to the CBI, almost 40% of firms are freezing their graduate recruitment, while a further 10% are reducing the amount of graduates they hire.

It was announced over the weekend that telecoms giant BT is suspending its graduate recruitment scheme, blaming “headcount pressures” for the move.

The firm also said it could be a while before the scheme is reintroduced.

In a statement, BT said: “In light of the current economic environment and headcount pressures BT has taken the decision to cease graduate recruitment activity and are no longer running a graduate recruitment programme; at the present time, there is no timeline for re-entry.”

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