Youth Employment and Apprenticeships

Youth ApprenticeshipsOn Wednesday Parliament debated a topic that is vital to all of us, that of youth employment. The debate was convened by Gillian Keegan who is the recently elected MP for Chichester and who believes she is the only MP in the House of Commons who has served a degree level apprenticeship. Although much of what was said in the debate had positive aspects, it was disappointing that Gillian chose to make comments that were critical of the Labour Party at the beginning of her speech and claims about a reduction of unemployment amongst young that were at best half true (obliging young people to remain in education for longer, is not the same as finding them work). I was particularly sad regarding the failure to mention the positive work carried out by the Labour Party in establishing the Future Jobs Fund which in many senses was a forerunner to the current focus on Apprenticeships that has been developed by this Government. It was noticeable that although the SNP and DUP responded during the debate, apart from one Labour MP and the Shadow Work and Pensions Minister, most of comments came from members of the Conservative Party. However the most frustrating issue is that I cannot find in the entire transcript any mention or challenge to the Government on its abject failure to deliver on the Apprenticeship Levy for companies that fall below the Levy threshold. Assuming the Government do manage to get this off the ground, it has the potential to have a very positive impact on constituencies such as Chichester and indeed across Sussex where the vast majority of employers are below the levy threshold. The original deadline for education and training providers to apply for funds from the Levy to offer such a provision to small companies was 25th November 2016, the proposed date for the announcement was 14th March 2017 and we are now seeing the suggestion that the announcement will be made early in 2018, nearly a year late. Whilst the Levy is not age dependent, it is clearly a way for small companies to help create training for new workers in their business and some of these will be young people such as those that this debate was about.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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