Friday 29 May

Employment & Training for Young People

Notes of Meeting 21st March 2007

Hilary Ayer (Chairman) Paul Harvey (TPS) Chris Paterson (EHDC)
Jane Steggall (Youth Service) Graham Smith

Apologies - Liza Smith (EHDC)

CP reported that he had spoken with the Network Fund about possible funding for the three projects (ie an information flyer, a survey of employers and a survey of Year 11 students) discussed at the previous meeting but that the response had been negative. The reasons given for this were that (a) there was insufficient statistical evidence of there being a problem of employment being available for young persons, and (b) that dealings etc with employers was already within the remit of an existing Government Agency (Connexions).

HA pointed out that there was at least anecdotal support for there being a shortage of suitable jobs by virtue of this being one of the action areas arising from the Petersfield Tomorrow survey. It was agreed that statistical information should be sought from Connexions (who were supportive of the Group’s work) as it was believed that there is in fact a shortage. The problem of any proposed action being within Connexion’s remit was acknowledged and it was agreed that the Group should seek advice from Connexions as to whether there was legitimate scope for a project in support of and complementary to their role that was likely to attract grant funding.

JS queried the figure of only 4 young persons leaving school and being without a job, pointing out that this figure applied only to TPS whereas there were several other schools or centres etc serving the town with many more young people leaving without jobs.

It was agreed that CP should draft an approach to Connexions for their assistance with taking the projects forward and that he would circulate this to attendees for comment/ agreement before sending to Connexions.

Post Meeting Note

It was announced in the Budget Speech that pupils will have to stay in education until they are 18, details being set out in a Green Paper, with some 50,000 teenagers to be paid a “training wage” while on courses and with apprenticeship places being doubled to 500,000. Most 16-17 year olds are to be placed in “on the job” learning schemes with enforcement to ensure compliance.

As this is a long-term initiative - it is proposed that the school leaving age will not be raised to age 17 until 2013 and to age 18 until 2015 - it is not likely to affect the position locally so far as jobs for young people are concerned in the short term. Similarly the work of the Group is unlikely to be affected.

Graham Smith
22 March 2007