ERSA welcomes new employment support for young people, but warns local authorities and schools must be properly resourced to deliver services

ERSA, the sector body for organisations providing employment support, has welcomed the announcements made today by the Deputy Prime Minister outlining a range of new opportunities for young people to help them move into training or employment, but has warned that local authorities and schools must be properly resourced to deliver the new range of services.

In particular, ERSA supports the creation of a UCAS style online system to flag the variety of routes available to young people outside of the university system; the provision of better, joined up, careers advice in school, and work experience opportunities for young people who have been unemployed for six months.

These new opportunities are in line with ERSA’s recommendation to ensure that there is a joined up and coherent service for all young people moving from school to training and employment with a clearly marked pathway into vocational training and employment.  ERSA will now work with government to develop the details of these schemes and to ensure that the new announcements are effectively integrated into existing employment support provision.

ERSA Chief Executive, Kirsty McHugh, said:

“The vocational skills system has been difficult to navigate for far too long and young people have been failed by a fragmented system.  The announcements today are a much needed step forward to help young people access careers and prevent them falling into long term unemployment.

“The next step is to ensure that these services hit the mark and thus we must ensure local authorities and schools are properly resourced to provide effective services to young people.’


Press enquiries should be directed to Maeve McGoldrick, 677 477.

Notes to Editors

1.       The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) is the sector body for those delivering or with an interest in welfare to work services.  ERSA’s membership spans the private, voluntary and public sectors and ranges from large multi-nationals through to small specialist charities.
2.       ERSA has 140 members, delivering all major government funded employment schemes.
3.       Case studies and interviews with ERSA’s Chief Executive Kirsty McHugh are available on request.
4.       ERSA held a roundtable in 2013 with members specialising in youth unemployment. The findings from this roundtable were then fed into the Heywood review, which developed the recommendations for the announcements today.