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Advance to Work scheme to continue through 2011

23 June 2010

Advance to Work - States-funded help for unemployed teenagers through the economic downturn - will continue to September 2011 thanks to renewed fiscal stimulus support.

And the next academic year will also see the development of a new skills and training initiative to support people aged 20+ with the almost £1 million fiscal stimulus allocation.

Treasury Minister Senator Philip Ozouf has allocated £966,613 to the Department of Education, Sport and Culture to add to its other fiscal stimulus activities aimed at reducing unemployment and boosting skills, which include additional full-time places at Highlands College and a strengthened careers service with additional advisory capacity.

Advance to Work (ATW) was launched last September to provide unemployed 16-19 year olds with unpaid work experience placements combined with vocational and key skills training such as literacy and numeracy, communication skills, first aid, office skills, manual handling, to act as a stepping stone into paid employment. 

By June 2010, almost 200 young people had either participated, or are still on, ATW, with 49 going on to paid employment, 26 of those directly with their Advance to Work placement employer.

In the brand new scheme starting later this year, unemployed adults (aged 20 and above) will gain training and work experience to help them move into paid employment, as well as mentor-led support, with a focus on specific sectors where there are still job opportunities.

Senator Ozouf said "Reported unemployment statistics have shown a growing number of over 20s actively seeking work, particularly 20 – 25 year olds, and the length of time individuals are remaining unemployed is also growing.  We are seeing the lack of employment opportunities as a result of the economic downturn in the number of vacancies at the end of April 2010, which was at a 10 year low. I have allocated this funding because I recognise the need to provide targeted training and guidance for people aged 20 and over, who are not able to benefit from the Advance to Work scheme."

The Skills Executive, with the Skills Board, will develop the new scheme to provide training and development for people over 20, on a short-term basis, aiming to get them into available employment opportunities quickly.

The Chairman of the Skills Executive, Deputy James Reed said "The Advance to Work scheme has been a great success due to the engagement of the local employers, trainers and the enthusiasm of young people themselves. This additional funding will allow a programme to be extended to an older age group. I sincerely hope that those seeking work will take advantage of the opportunity to improve their skills and as a result have a better chance of gaining full time employment."

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