The government sees the launch of sector-based work academies across England as the next part of its strategy to combat youth unemployment.
The new academies will offer a combination of training, work experience and a guaranteed job interview to up to 50,000 people over the next two years, with many going to the young.
Together with the Work Programme and the government’s Work Experience scheme, Whitehall believes it will mean support for up to 150,000 young people over the next few months and 250,000 people over the next two years.
Sector-based work academies will operate in industries based on local labour market demand, including construction, contact centres, hospitality, logistics, and retail. In the wider economy there are currently over 90,000 vacancies in retail, over 44,000 in hospitality and 11,000 vacancies in construction.
Employment minister Chris Grayling said: “Sector-based work academies are the next key part of our strategy to tackle youth unemployment. With training, work experience and a guaranteed interview, they will put people at the front of the queue for vacancies that employers are looking to fill.”
Judith Nelson, UK personnel director for Tesco, said: “We are always on the lookout for new talented individuals to join our teams across the UK. Sector-based work academies are a great way to find these new people from within the communities we serve and provide them with the skills and experience needed to succeed.”
Angela Williams, British Gas HR director, said: “The Sector-based work academy scheme is a great initiative. It’s helped us find good people we can take on and train, giving them the skills to insulate our customers’ homes and reduce their energy bills.”
Local employers are being invited to get in touch with their local Jobcentre Plus employer engagement manager if they have a number of vacancies they need to fill or if they wish to get involved in a sector-based work academy by offering to provide work experience placements.
Additional support also includes 250,000 more apprenticeships.