Traineeships face failure - warning

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Government plans for new traineeships have been dismissed as “glorified YOPs and YTS schemes” by a Sheffield based occupational psychologist and consultant.

Ian Franklin, who runs Hillsborough-based Ifonly Consulting, used to work for what was the Government’s Employment Service in the 1990s, when the Youth Opportunities Programme and the Youth Training Scheme were still fresh in people’s memories.

He fears that the new scheme to make young people more ready for work will be woefully underfunded and will fail to tackle the host of personal and other problems suffered by many young people who are out of work and not in training.

Skills minister Matthew Hancock announced recently that the Government was planning to introduce traineeships to improve the work-readiness of young people.

Mr Hancock said the traineeships would be aimed at people aged between 16 and 24 and would provide “work-preparation training”, including CV writing and interview training and work experience. There would also be English and maths courses for people who had not reached GCSE grade C in those subjects.

Hopes are that traineeships will reduce the number of young people currently not in education, employment or training – known as NEETs.

However, Ian Franklin points to the failure of the Government’s Welfare to Work programme to hit targets and foresees similar problems with the new traineeships, which, like Welfare to Work, will be run by private firms.

“With schools so desperately short of qualified maths teachers, where exactly are these private training providers going to find the maths instructors to work with this army of NEETS?” he asks

“When working with the NEETS age group all kinds of things can come out, especially from those who have struggled – undiagnosed learning needs, criminal records, mental health issues, eating disorders, self-harm, chaotic home lives, drug and alcohol dependency, physical abuse and sexual exploitation.

“I don’t see how it is going to happen.

“From my past experience of these schemes, the only one that I saw that ever worked was the Community Programme, that was put together by Lord Young.

“That worked because it provided a proper job, with wages and training, doing something that the people involved were interested in, but was stopped because it was too expensive.”

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