The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) has claimed that the government’s £1bn funding scheme for youth unemployment is short changing young people and won’t give them a fighting chance of building a career in skilled industry.

Iain Macdonald, head of education and training at the ECA, said, “While any funding for youth employment is welcome, the Government’s scheme won’t create long term opportunities for young people. Simply getting young people into training or basic work is not enough; if they want to work in the skilled sector, they need to be on industry recognised apprenticeships that lead to long-term jobs and career prospects.”

He continued, “The real problem faced by potential employers is the lack of confidence and certainty regarding the future. Funding which ultimately amounts to less than £380 per month per new employee isn’t going to persuade an employer to take on and train a new staff member, if they don’t have a healthy order book. Government needs to foster a viable economic climate that will create demand for skilled young people, which will in turn deliver a lasting legacy with employers incentivised to invest in youth.

“Government must recognise employers that provide apprenticeships, backed by Sector Skills Councils, are providing meaningful training and opportunities, and should look at supporting these initiatives if it wants to resolve the issue of long term youth unemployment.”