Jobcentre Plus support rolled out to schools

Ground-breaking government scheme to provide expert employment support to young people

A ground-breaking government scheme to provide expert employment support to young people will be launched today (14 January 2015) by Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith and Employment Minister Priti Patel.

As part of the ‘Jobcentre Plus Support for Schools’ initiative, local Jobcentre Plus advisers will offer 12 to 18 year old pupils insight into the world of work and advice on options like traineeships and apprenticeships. This scheme is designed to help young people think about their future career ambitions and make plans to realise them.

As well as offering advice on the labour market, the advisers will help schools to offer high quality work experience opportunities so that young people can gain direct insights into what potential employers are looking for. This will help them to focus on gaining the skills and experience they need to get on in life.

At its heart this scheme is about supporting young people to prepare for their futures, so that they are equipped to make the most of it.

Each school will decide what level of support advisers offer to their pupils, which could include setting up work experience placements, one-to-one advice and group-led Q&A sessions.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said:

“Extending Jobcentre support into schools will have a dramatic and enormously positive impact on young people’s prospects – helping to ensure that the transition from school to their next pursuit is a smooth and positive one.

“This scheme is fundamentally about social mobility and social justice – ensuring we give all young people the best chance to get on in life.

“I have boundless ambition for this country’s young people, and through this scheme we will support them to achieve their full potential.”

Employment Minister Priti Patel said:

“We want every young person, regardless of their background, to be able to get on and reach their full potential – and my mission is to make sure they get every opportunity to do so.

“That is why we are focusing on quality early years childcare, education and making sure every young person is either earning or learning – so that they get the best start in life.

“I am proud that our local Jobcentre Plus advisors are on hand to give pupils extra support to help them make the best choices for their future.”

Holy Trinity Catholic School – which the Employment Minister Priti Patel will visit later today – is the first school to take part in the scheme. It will be rolled out further across England by September.

Tim Oxley, Headteacher at Holy Trinity Catholic School, said:

“This is a really exciting initiative that we’re happy to embrace and know will be fantastic for our pupils and their futures. A great beginning for our 2016.”

Nigel Kimpton, District Manager for DWP Birmingham and Solihull, said:

We are really excited to be working directly with schools, and helping them identify the types of jobs, apprenticeships and traineeships that are available in Birmingham so that pupils can have the best start in life.

“Our work advisers have expert knowledge about the local labour market and have strong relationships with employers, meaning we will be able to help teenagers find the right training opportunities for them.”

Support for young people

This government is supporting young people through Jobcentre Plus and itsWork Experience scheme. In 2017, every young person will be expected to be either earning or learning through the government’s welfare reforms and the creation of 3 million more apprenticeships on top of the 2 million apprenticeships created since 2010.

In 2015, the government’s ‘Earn or Learn taskforce’ announced a new 3-week programme to give young jobseekers an unprecedented level of support that will help them find work within 6 months.

From 2017, the programme will offer an intensive curriculum, involving practicing job applications and interview techniques as well as extensive job searches, and is expected to take 71 hours over the first three weeks of the claim.

A dedicated work coach will work with jobseekers and continuously review what was achieved during the initial three-week work course.

Youth employment in numbers:

  • since 2010, there are 244,000 more young people in work
  • the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds who have left full-time education and are unemployed is at a record low of 5.8%
  • since 2010, there are 314,000 fewer unemployed young people and youth unemployment is at its lowest in a decade
  • for those young people that have left full-time education, 74.5% are in work, which is the highest in a decade
  • there are 91,000 fewer young people who have been unemployed for more than a year since 2010.

Government pledge

The government pledged to introduce demand-led, Jobcentre Plus staff to supplement careers guidance and help schools deliver their statutory duty to provide high-quality, independent and impartial careers advice.

Jobcentre Plus staff will help those students at risk of becoming NEET (not in employment, education or training) or otherwise disadvantaged in the labour market.

Jobcentre Plus staff will work with the newly introduced Careers and Enterprise company to ensure schools receive a coherent and aligned offer.

The Jobcentre Plus Support for Schools scheme will be rolled out further in this academic year.

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