Employment & Training for Young People
Group meeting on 19 November 07 at EHDC Offices.
Present. Hilary Ayer (Chairman), Phil Hoar (Connexions), Graham Smith, Liza Smith (EHDC).
The principal purpose of the meeting was to decide on and design a 'next steps' survey supplementary to the telephone sample survey of local businesses recently carried out by Petersfield Tomorrow, relating specifically to training and apprenticeships. There was a possibility that this could be 'rolled out' to the rest of the c.400 businesses in the Petersfield area.
It was noted that Petersfield Tomorrow funds were available for this but with a very narrow window of opportunity. EHDC could carry out administrative support work and re-charge.
It was also noted that EHDC Economic Development Office were planning to hold a Spring Seminar. No details yet available. It may be possible to take advantage of this seminar.
The first draft of the analysis of the results was tabled. Two questions were specifically relevant to the Group's interests:
- Question 9 - Do you have problems recruiting staff?
- Question 10 - Would you consider employing a young person (16-21) as an apprentice?
Q.9 responses showed 28% have problems, with 69% not having problems and 3% 'don't knows'. This related to the present position though, not to expectations for say the next 5 years.
Q.10 responses showed 38% would consider employing a young person as an apprentice, 48% wouldn't consider it, with 14% 'don't knows'.
It was agreed that the intention of the follow up survey would be both to take the Q.10 responses further and to widen the scope to more general skills & training issues. In particular to identify:
- specific opportunities for recruitment of trainees (including but not confined to apprentices)
- the type of work and/or training involved
- the 'candidate profile' of potentially suitable applicants for different levels of opening
- whether firms foresee a skills shortage affecting their own business and
- if so, why is this a problem and how it may be resolved
- if not, why this won't be a problem
- whether 'on the Job' or 'off the job' training is appropriate to their needs
- the age and skill structure of their present staff
- the problems and impediments they see in training their own staff.
The intention is to identify:
- firms who should be encouraged to work with Connexions or other (wider age group) training providers
- specific areas of skills shortages existing or likely in the medium term
- specific problems firms foresee in taking on trainees
- areas of opportunity for school leavers.
It is hoped to identify particular opportunities for school leavers to enter employment as trainees rather than continue in full-time education and to identify trainee opportunities for graduates. GS offered to provide a first draft of appropriate letters and questionnaires, letters to be geared to each batch of respondents.
It was noted that the Government has recently announced various initiatives to extend the age limit for required education/training for young people and to assist with training for older groups, including financial incentives. Unfortunately details are not yet available and implementation is not likely in the short-term.
21 November 2007