The group CEO of the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA), Steve Bratt, has welcomed the government's announcement of a £60m package to help the most vulnerable young people into work, but warns without employers providing real job opportunities, this funding will be redundant.
"Apprenticeships generate £40 for every £1 of government investment*, so taking on an apprentice makes sound financial sense. But for this to happen, government must offer businesses tangible financial support to ease the short term burden of investing in the future. The £60m allocated through the Supporting Youth Employment paper doesn't appear to tackle the issue of enabling employers," said Bratt. "In this current climate, firms – particularly SMEs – simply don't have the money to invest in apprentices, and funding work experience places isn't going to be enough to find jobs for the 670,000 NEETs in the UK. In the craft sector, we are sitting on a ticking time bomb. If we don't act now, we will not have the home-grown talent needed to fulfil this country's potential. The consequences of that will be more far reaching than most people realise."