Campaign to increase work experience launched

By on 04/03/2015 in Cllr Holbrook, Leader, News

Launch of work experience campaign

A campaign to increase work experience opportunities for the unemployed has been launched by Birmingham City Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

City council leader Sir Albert Bore called on employers across the city to join the campaign.

“I want Birmingham to be a city where people without work “particularly young people” can access meaningful work experience that will put them on the pathway to sustainable employment,” he said.

“Employers want to employ local people but can often be deterred when they look for evidence that people are ready for work and understand how a workplace operates. So we need to help provide that crucial bridge that allows people to demonstrate their potential.

“As a major employer in the city ‘albeit one with a reduced workforce’ the city council needs to lead the way and I am today making a commitment to dramatically increase the opportunities we can offer.”

The city council and Birmingham and Solihull DWP are working together to create 10,000 work experience placements across the city.

Councillor Penny Holbrook, cabinet member for skills, learning and culture, said; “Many unemployed people find themselves in a ‘catch-22′ situation; they struggle to find work because they don’t have experience of work. Getting some work experience can improve confidence, social skills, familiarity with workplace practices, strengthen a CV and allow people to picture themselves as an employee.

“Research shows that 74 per cent of employers say that work experience is either critical or significant when recruiting, yet only 27 per cent of employers nationally offer work experience. We need to buck that trend in Birmingham and invest in our young people.

“This campaign will also be a key element of our Youth Promise, which guarantees that all young people aged 14 to 25 in the city will have access to employment, education, training, apprenticeship of work experience within four months of leaving school, college or employment.”

Nigel Kimpton from Jobcentre Plus said: “This is a really exciting campaign for people of all ages. People who undertake work experience are more likely to move into employment, and I would encourage everyone to join us in getting behind this campaign.

“It’s a great opportunity for employers to see potential workers in the workplace who, they may not normally have considered, and it’s a positive step towards employment and a better future for unemployed people.”
How it will work:

  • Work Experience will enable unemployed people to volunteer for placements lasting up to 8 weeks. These young people will be matched with suitable host employers.
  • Jobcentre Plus will continue to pay participants’ benefits and also cover the costs of travel (and childcare if required).
  • If you as an employer would like to pledge to offer an experience, it’s quick and easy. Simply email: Colleagues from DWP will make contact with you at once and find out what you’d like to offer, sign you up and find you a suitable candidate
  • If you are an unemployed person looking for work experience, just ask at your Jobcentre and they will look for something to suit your needs.


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