Back in January 2013, the Government announced their initial proposals for “Traineeships” – a new programme aimed at young people who want to work, but who need additional help to obtain an Apprenticeship or job. They were intended to offer young people between 16-24 years of age the opportunity to undertake a substantial work placement and work skills training, alongside support to improve their English and maths as well as potential further support and training. The intention was to help young people obtain the skills and work experience they need to secure Apprenticeships and other sustainable employment.
We are pleased to see that a few weeks ago the Government (after much delay) finally published a framework for delivery for traineeships. However, the written ministerial statement by Skills Minister Matthew Hancock MP, which announced the publishing of the framework, made clear that while the Traineeships programme will begin in August 2013, it will initially only apply to 16-19 years. No reason was given for why this programme is only being introduced for 16-19 year olds this year, and not 20-24 year olds as well, as had initially been planned.
This is very disappointing as we have already waited three years for the Coalition Government to introduce a policy like this; and the policy is actually a good policy. It should be introduced as quickly as possible for all young people, especially as no reason has been given for the delay in expanding it to those aged 20-24. Unemployed young people aged 20-24 should not have to wait any longer for the opportunities they deserve.