ERSA response to Labour’s announcement on youth unemployment

Youth unemployment_0_4.jpg

In response to today’s announcement by Labour, which outlines plans to up-skill young people and manage the welfare budget,  ERSA welcomes the idea behind the youth allowance to prevent young people from becoming long term unemployed by focusing on a positive work related allowance that is not associated with unemployment.

However, the success of this initiative depends on tailoring the support to young people’s individual circumstances and ensuring the definition of skills encompasses softer skills such as life coaching or increased confidence.

This focus by Labour on skills is strongly welcomed but should not be considered the only type of support a young person may need help with in their journey into employment.

Kirsty McHugh, ERSA, Chief Executive, said:

“Any measure to support young people to increase their skills is welcome. However,  all young people are different and, in implementing this policy, Labour would need to make sure that there was sufficient flexibility of provision to make sure all young people could benefit.”

ERSA welcomes new employment support for young people

Youth unemployment_0_2.jpg

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.’

ends

Press enquiries should be directed to Maeve McGoldrick, maeve.mcgoldrick@ersa.org.uk/07720 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.

ERSA welcomes new employment support for young people

Youth unemployment_0_1.jpg

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.’

ends

Press enquiries should be directed to Maeve McGoldrick, maeve.mcgoldrick@ersa.org.uk/07720 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.

ERSA welcomes Youth Contract figures, but warns of need for regional wage incentive variations

Youth unemployment_0_0.jpg

The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) has today welcomed the first Youth Contract figures as a promising start, but warns that regional variations in the wage incentive may be necessary to hit government targets.

Government statistics released today show that employers have so far taken on 21,460 young people, with 4,690 wage incentives paid to date.  The scheme was launched in April 2012 and is intended to run for three years, with 160,000 wage incentives on offer in total.  The wage incentive of £2,275 is payable to the employer once the eligible young unemployed person has completed 26 weeks of employment. The money is available in relation to young people on the Work Programme and those supported by Jobcentre Plus.

Kirsty McHugh, chief executive of Employment Related Services Association, said:
‘We’re delighted that 21,460 unemployed youngsters have been helped into a job by the wage incentive to date.  However, it’s clear from feedback that the incentive amount may not always be high enough in some parts of the country to tempt employers to take on extra staff.  We’re therefore asking government to consider varying the level of wage incentive available to reflect different costs across the UK.’

Previous work by ERSA and the CBI has been aimed at marketing the Youth Contract wage incentive to businesses.  A joint leaflet was produced in December 2012 for distribution across CBI and trade body membership. 
ends

Press enquiries should be directed to Gemma Hopkins on 020 7960 6317.

Notes to editors:

1. The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) is the trade body for organisations delivering or with an interest in employment related services – sometimes called welfare to work.  The scope of reach includes skills provision, self-employment, offender related services, welfare reform and disability-related issues, as well as the design and delivery of employment programmes.  Membership spans the private, voluntary and public sectors ranging from large multi-nationals through to small specialist charities operating in their local communities.

2. The Youth Contract was unveiled by the Deputy Prime Minister in 2012 as a £1 billion package of measures to tackle youth unemployment.  The wage incentive is available for employment of 16 hours or more per week. There is a part time rate (£1,137.50) between 16 and 29 hours and a full time rate (£2,275) for 30 hours or more.  When an eligible young person starts a job and it is expected that the job would last 26 weeks, the Work Programme provider or Jobcentre Plus issues a wage incentive claim form to the employer. The wage incentive is then paid after the young person has remained in work for 26 weeks.  The government’s press release can be found here.  The official Youth Contract Wage Incentive Job Start statistics can be found here and the official Youth Contract Wage Incentive Payment statistics can be found here.

3. ERSA and the CBI have been working together to market both the Work Programme and the Youth Contract wage incentive to employers. The marketing material can be found here.

Early evaluation of the Youth Contract wage incentive scheme

Youth unemployment_0.jpg

The DWP has published an early evaluation of the Youth Contract. The survey took views from 279 employers who recruited someone eligible for a wage incentive and included interviews with Work Programme providers and representatives from Jobcentre Plus.

Overall providers taking part in the survey felt wage incentives could ‘tip the balance’, making young people who already had the right skill set more attractive to employers, however some Work Programme providers commented that the roll-out of information about wage incentives had been slow and of poor quality, which had affected their ability to produce marketing materials to raise awareness in the early stages.

The survey also considered recommendations for improving the scheme, the most common of which concerned increasing advertising and the information available about the scheme, with Work Programme providers suggesting that national and local level marketing and press coverage would enhance the effectiveness of their activities.

In addition the survey also raised the following points of interest:

Employer views

  • Nine per cent of employers surveyed said they had created an extra vacancy because of wage incentives
  • 28 per cent of employers said wage incentives had made them more likely to keep the employee on for at least six months
  • 86 per cent of employers said they would be likely to take someone else on in the future who is eligible for the scheme
  • 33 per cent said that it had made them more likely to recruit young people with a history of unemployment
  • 84 per cent of employers were in the private sector and more than half of employers were in the service sector
  • 62 per cent had taken on one recruit who was eligible for a wage incentive and 28 per cent had taken on between two and four recruits, with eight per cent had taken on five or more
  • Employers’ main reasons for taking on a candidate eligible for the wage incentive were to get some extra money (30 per cent) and to give a young, unemployed person a chance (22 per cent)

Work programme providers

  • 46 per cent of employers were most likely to have first heard about the wage incentive from a Work Programme provider
  • 51 per cent of employers were most likely to contact a Work Programme provider when they needed more information about the scheme
  • Providers felt that the scheme was not sufficient as a sole method of ‘marketing’ young people to employers
  • 71 per cent rated the support from providers as very or fairly good

March 2013 – Early Evaluation of the Youth Contract