Nick Clegg in Bath to talk up Government's Youth Contract
The Deputy Prime Minister has been to Bath to promote the benefit of apprentices to the city’s economy.
Nick Clegg visited one of city’s biggest companies, Rotork, last week where he met staff and some of its 17 apprentices.
Mr Clegg said there was evidence that if a young person was out of work and doing nothing for several months it was harder for them to find a job, which made apprenticeships an important opportunity.
According to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Bath saw 480 16 to 24-year-olds start paid employment through apprenticeship schemes during the last academic year.
Dyson DC50i - Bagless upright vacuum cleaner - BALL Technology -...View details
Thisi is Dyson's smallest upright vacuum cleaner with the performance of a full size upright machine. The DC50i has Dyson's most advanced cleaner head technology and 2 Tier RadialTM cyclones.
Terms: LIMITED STOCK OFFER. FREE delivery to most UK postcodes - Next working day dispatch.
Contact: 01664 491439
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
Mr Clegg said: “We want to see young people learning and training rather than sitting at home and feeling cut off from society.”
He added having young, enthusiastic young people in any workforce added value to the business.
During his visit to the Brassmill Lane egineering firm, Mr Clegg also spent time with a business leaders from the area to discuss the Government’s new Youth Contract and encourage them to sign up to the scheme.
The Youth Contract is a £1 billion programme to tackle youth unemployment through new jobs and training, which includes a £2,275 incentive for businesses which recruit an 18 to 24 year old through the Work Programme or Jobcentre Plus.
The meeting included representatives from Rotork, Wessex Water, Marshfield Bakery and Somer Valley Radio, as well as Bath’s MP Don Foster.
Figures from the International Labour Organisation have revealed there are 3,200 young people unemployed in Bath and north east Somerset, with 745 young people seeking Job Seekers’ Allowance.
Speaking after the meeting Mr Clegg said: “The main conclusion was we need to do more to talk about Youth Contracts.
“The more people know about the youth contracts they’re more likely to take them up.”
He added: “I’m determined to tackle youth unemployment and am urging businesses in Bath to come on board and join me in doing so. Business has a huge role to play in supporting young unemployed people and getting them earning or learning.”
Rotork chief executive Peter France, who is also involved in the Bath Education Trust, which focuses on developing employability, said his firm was a good example of how apprentices can work well for a company.
He said: “It’s about giving the children a better opportunity in life but especially considering their employability when they leave higher education not only do they have qualifications but the skills that will help them in industry.”
However, he added hiring apprentices was not straightforward.
He added: “Now that there is no mandatory retirement age does make it difficult in business to know when to recruit people.
“People, by choice, are working for longer and there is uncertainty now as they approach 65 will they or won’t they retire, do we need to employ someone else or don’t we.
“We are having a record year so it’s easy for us to support schemes but you have to plan for the future in business. It’s important to keep investing for the future and investing in your people.”