Building skills for a brighter future

Unions and businesses call for high-quality traineeships

Darren Evans

Businesses and trade unions have joined forces to lobby for high-quality traineeships that teach relevant and transferable skills to young people.

To mark the one-year anniversary of the government's traineeships programme, which aims to give young people the skills and experience to go on to an apprenticeship or job, the TUC and the CBI released a joint statement of support for employers wanting to take part. But they said businesses had to offer a high-quality experience if the programme were to succeed.

"Traineeships must include good training and work experience and it is vital that trainees are fairly treated," said TUC assistant general secretary Paul Nowak. "The TUC also encourages employers to pay travel and meal expenses, as well as providing financial support."

CBI deputy director general Katja Hall said: "While the economic recovery is starting to reach young people, levels of youth unemployment in the UK are still worryingly high.

"Giving school- and college-leavers the opportunity to learn about the world of work, improve their skills and gain experience is vital if we are to address this crucial issue."

Skills minister Nick Boles said he was "delighted" that the TUC and CBI had come together to support the scheme.

"It is essential for employers to make sure that trainees have a high-quality experience and gain valuable skills that will benefit them for their whole careers," he added. "Household names such as BT, the BBC and Siemens have already got involved alongside many smaller employers. This agreement should encourage even more businesses to sign up and provide opportunities for young people."

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Darren Evans

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