DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg has agreed to raise a bereaved Sheffield dad’s concerns about health and safety procedures on work placements organised through a Government scheme.
Mr Clegg, MP for Sheffield Hallam, who launched the £1 billion youth contract initiative, replied to Richard Cain, of Lodge Moor, whose son Derek was killed 29 years ago on a government-backed training scheme.
Mr Cain wants the Government to ensure companies offering placements ensure safety is top priority.
Derek died in December 1982 in an accident at a recycling plant where he was on a placement under the Government’s old youth opportunities programme (YOP).
After the tragedy, Mr Cain, a member of Sheffield Trades and Labour Council, campaigned for better health and safety measures covering placements for young people.
In his reply to Mr Cain, Mr Clegg said: “I understand your concern and why you want to ensure safety in the workplace is paramount. I have contacted Chris Grayling, employment minister, to highlight your concerns.”
Mr Cain said there were numerous deaths involving trainees on placements with the YOP and its successor, the youth training scheme, with 14 deaths across the UK in one 18-month period in the 1980s.
He has called for ‘safeguards’ to be built into the youth contract scheme, through which the Government will pay employers to create training placements.
Mr Cain, who welcomed Mr Clegg’s reply, said: “The Government should arrange for inspections to be carried out of employers who offer these placements, to ensure they are treating young people properly with regard to safety.”