Employment minister raises awareness of work academies in Wirral

Wirral Globe: Esther McVey meets young people during visit Esther McVey meets young people during visit

EMPLOYMENT minister Esther McVey has launched a campaign promoting public sector-based training that is designed to help Wirral's young people into work.

Sector Based Work Academies (SWBAs) combine elements of training and work experience to help young people get ready for the world of work, and then ends with a guaranteed interview to give them the chance to showcase their talents and secure a job.

The scheme is one aspect of the Government’s wider 'Youth Contract' which also involves work experience and wage incentives on top of the standard support package offered through Jobcentres.

The Youth Contract has seen youth unemployment fall by more than 50,000 since it was launched last year.

Since May 2011, 310 people have found work in warehousing, hospitality, health and social care, transport, call centres, administration, retail and construction through the SWBA programme.

Ms McVey, Member of Parliament for Wirral West, met a group of young people who had been through the scheme - in this case operated by training organisation ‘Progress to Excellence and Utopia Training’ – to hear about their experiences.

She said afterwards: "I’m delighted to be launching this campaign to raise awareness of Sector Based Work Academies in Wirral this week.

"The scheme, which is designed to help young people into work, combines training and work experience with a guaranteed interview.

"The young people I met - who had already benefited from the scheme - said it gave them the skills as well as the opportunities they needed to get their foot on the career ladder.

"The employment picture for young people in this area is looking increasingly positive – and in the last month alone the number of young people claiming jobseekers allowance in Merseyside fell by 615 - but there's always more to do.

"That's why I’m calling on more businesses to open up their doors to young people and realise the mutual benefits of giving them a chance to prove their potential."

Participants remain on benefit throughout the period of the Sector-Based Work Academy and Jobcentre Plus will pay any travel and childcare costs whilst they are on the work experience placement.

There is no direct cost to an employer for sector-based work academies as the costs are covered by government funding.

Sector Based Work Academies promo video available via YouTube - http://youtu.be/56rTkbedkWk

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