Rising youth unemployment can be tackled using the largest ever apprenticeship incentives, says HomeServe Foundation.
New statistics released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal more than 1.675 million people are currently out of work, with younger workers bearing the brunt.
ONS researchers found HMRC saw a fall in the number of employees on company payrolls during March 2021 of around 56,000. The youngest workers were the hardest hit, with those under 25 accounting for almost 54% of the decline of payrolled jobs.
In reaction, the HomeServe Foundation has highlighted trades skills as high demand opportunities for young people and UK trades businesses.
Helen Booth, director of the HomeServe Foundation, pictured, said: “The apprenticeship incentives of up to £4,000 until September 2021 are more generous than they’ve ever been. And we have to encourage and support more small businesses to use them if we want to help young people in England and Wales back into employment.
“These incentives offer a real opportunity for small businesses, especially those in high growth sectors like trades and construction. They will also open up new and meaningful career paths for young people currently seeking work, and this will be vital as we come out of this pandemic.
“Our own 2021 Trades Skills research shows demand for home repairs and improvements are soaring, providing an opportunity for small trades businesses who do the bulk of the work in the sector to benefit. These small trades firms need fresh talent and new skills. Apprenticeships are a perfect solution, particularly with the grants available to support them right now.
“They’re a win win. A trades skills apprenticeship will help young people seeking work to train in a new career and for trades SMEs who are in desperate need of highly qualified workers, it’s a real growth opportunity. And it looks like this demand isn’t going away soon if we’re to meet UK house building targets, government net zero pledges and gas boiler replacement targets.
“We’re passionate about building awareness, offering advice and support, and working with trades businesses and partners to spark more careers and inspire new opportunities as we know apprenticeships will play a key role in building the skills for the future and tackling the youth unemployment challenge.”