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Home > Latest news week ending 6 November 2009

Latest news week ending 6 November 2009

Published: Mon, 02 Nov 2009 00:00:00

Young people to get green-fingered apprenticeships

Communities Secretary John Denham announced plans to recruit 175 green-fingered apprentices to get parks and gardens growing in some of the country's most deprived areas.

Councils will be inviting budding horticulturists to apply for green apprenticeships as part of the government's drive to tackle the number of young people Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET). The scheme aims to help young people develop new 'green' skills that will lead to future full time employment.

As part of the announcement, Mr Denham will put another £700,000 into the pot to create 175 council horticulture apprenticeships following the overwhelming response to last year's launch that created 47 apprenticeships.

Today, only around 5 per cent of 16 year olds are NEET - the lowest for over a decade. Despite this Mr Denham, in a speech to the Local Government Association, was clear that 'We cannot be complacent, in the downturn we need to redouble our efforts to address this problem'.

Mr Denham outlined three areas where all councils should follow the example of the best - helping create more apprenticeship places; taking advantage of the huge financial support from Government; and demonstrating their public and practical commitment by signing up to the Backing Young Britain campaign.

Campaign launched to give young people in the East Midlands their first break

Minister for the East Midlands Phil Hope MP issued a call to action to businesses and other organisations to give the region’s young people their “first break.” That could be an apprenticeship, a work trial, a voluntary place, a work placement or an internship.

Or, employers could consider bidding for one of the 100,000 jobs available for young people from the Future Jobs Fund or engage in a Local Employment Partnership.

Mr. Hope has teamed up with JobCentre Plus, the Learning and Skills Council, the National Apprenticeship Service and The Prince’s Trust for the Backing Young East Midlands campaign.

Backing Young East Midlands will see a programme of activity over the coming weeks and months to bring more employers forward with opportunities for young people.

£1m boost for young people to turn enterprise ideas into business

The £1 million from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will enable youth charity, The Prince’s Trust, to help unemployed young people explore the viability of their business plans, develop their initial ideas and bring their businesses to life. 

In the next five months, 630 young people will take part in The Prince’s Trust’s new ‘Be Enterprising’ course.  The Prince’s Trust expects that 270 young people will see their own business come to life through the course, with others moving in to other work, education and training.  Fifty young people who have already successfully set up a business with help from The Prince’s Trust will become Young Ambassadors, to inspire other young people to be enterprising – particularly in the most deprived areas of England.

Employers guarantee facilities for cyclists

More than 70 major public and private sector employers are today pledging to implement a new “cycle to work” guarantee in a bid to transform the numbers cycling to work.

By signing up to the new ‘Cycle to Work Guarantee’, public and private sector employers are committing to provide their staff with safe bike storage, changing facilities and access to the Government’s generous tax break scheme - 'Cycle to Work' - for new bikes and cycling equipment. Evidence from employers already providing such support for their staff shows that it dramatically increases the proportion who cycle to work.

The Cycle to Work Guarantee is being promoted by Government and employers together to offer employees a healthy and green option to get to and from work. Typically, a third or more of staff of large urban employers live within half an hour bike ride of their place of work, but only about 3 per cent currently cycle to work.

Most central Government Departments have signed up as well as major companies including BSkyB, EON and GSK.  Dozens of local authorities and hospitals have also agreed to commit to the Guarantee, which is aimed at large employers. Other large employers will now be invited to follow suit.

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