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Traineeships to triple as unemployment fears mount

Trainee mechanic

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The government is pledging to provide 30,000 new traineeships to get young people in England into work, as fears about mounting unemployment increase.

Traineeships provide classroom-based lessons in maths, English and CV writing, as well as up to 90 hours of unpaid work experience.

Under the £111m funding boost, firms in England will be given £1,000 for each work-experience place they offer.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive £21m for similar schemes.

The additional funding for traineeships is set to be announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday when he will unveil an economic plan to deal with the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.

Businesses have been hit hard since the UK went into lockdown on 23 March, and even though restrictions are gradually being eased, consumer demand remains depressed.

As a result, companies with a presence across the UK have revealed thousands of staff cuts in the last week.

“Young people’s employment prospects are expected to be disproportionately affected by the economic fallout of coronavirus,” the Treasury said in a statement announcing plans to expand the traineeship programme.

Traineeships are intended to get people into their first job after education. They last from six weeks to six months and they are open to people aged between 16 and 24.

“Expanding traineeships will be part of a wider package to support young people and to ensure they have the skills and training to go on to high quality, secure and fulfilling employment,” the Treasury said.

It said that three quarters of young people who complete a traineeship moved on to employment or further study within a year. In contrast, three quarters of 18-24 year-olds who are not in education, employment or training for three months will continue to be out of work and out of education for a full 12 months, according to government figures.

The expanded scheme will be in place in England from September 2020. Around 15,000 people took traineeships between 2018 and 2019.

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