Work experience gets thumbs up

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Young people taking part in Government-backed work experience are more likely to find jobs, according to recent research.

The first 3,490 people on placements were 16 per cent more likely to be off benefits within 21 weeks than those in a similar group who did not take part it found.

The findings were revealed in an early impact analysis of voluntary work experience placements published by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said the figures showed that the Government scheme was making a big difference to employment prospects.

“Work experience gives young people vital skills they will need to get a job and a chance to shine in front of a potential employer. Those who criticised the scheme have got it badly wrong,” he added.

Researchers looked at what happened to young people who started a placement between January and May last year. The results, which were reviewed independently, were compared to a group of similar individuals who did not take up the opportunity.

Via the scheme, placements for up to eight weeks are available to 16 to 24-year-olds claiming Jobseekers Allowance and hundreds of companies are taking part.

Between January and November 2011, 34,200 people on Jobseeker’s Allowance undertook a work experience placement. Another 250,000 places were announced over the next three years as part of the Government’s Youth Contract to ensure a place is available to everyone eligible.

More employers are now being urged to give youngsters a positive introduction to the world of work and help them gain vital skills.

To find out more about offering work experience and the support available to employers, contact Jobcentre Plus on 0113 3078013.