Workplace skills organisations call for new government to support young people's career training

Alys Key
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Young people get better career skills from volunteering and apprenticeships than from school, say workplace training groups (Source: City Year UK)

Four in five youngsters (81 per cent) feel they didn’t get the right skills and experience while at school needed to get a job, according to research by volunteering and training organisation City Year UK.

As the City faces a skills shortage, workplace skills and education groups have called for campaigning political parties to support apprenticeships and other forms of employee training.

While Learning at Work Week gets underway this week, Julia Wright, national director of the Campaign for Learning, commented: "In the context of Brexit and longer working lives, the reskilling and upskilling of employees will become increasingly important. New policies should focus on supporting ‘grow your own’ measures which enable people to develop their skills, as recruiting our way out of skills gaps will become harder."

Read more: Time to move jobs? Employers up pay offers as skills shortage fears mount

But with the delay of the £440m procurement process for those employers who do not pay the new apprenticeship levy, others are urging the new government to address the funding issue as soon as the General Election is concluded.

Darren Smith, head of Old Mutual Wealth’s non-proft training provider the Financial Adviser School, said: “The delay in funding has meant all apprenticeship providers, including the Financial Adviser School, now have to either find other sources of funding or tell students they will have to wait for next year.

“With the upcoming snap election, political parties have the opportunity to outline how they plan to address the issue of apprenticeships and to ensure that the merits of this initiative are not destroyed."

Read more: How businesses can reap the benefits of Britain’s apprenticeship revolution

Sophie Livingstone, CEO of City Year UK, added that young people "need the knowledge and maturity to choose and commit to the right apprenticeship", and suggested that a transition year of volunteering could meet this aim.

She said: "A transition year of voluntary national service equips them with the confidence, transferable skills and knowledge to launch the best career for them whilst giving back at the same time. Whoever forms the next Government must ensure all young people who want to undertake full-time volunteering are supported to do so."

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