Poverty and joblessness discussed

May 23 2012

Concerns about the employability of people from more deprived backgrounds is to be raised with MSPs.

More than four-fifths of school leavers seeking an apprenticeship are unsuitable, one firm has already complained.

Young people often have a poor attitude, wholly unrealistic expectations and are shocked at working hours, according to GTG Training, owned by car dealer Arnold Clark.

Some college courses designed to improve their chances amount to no more than “state-sponsored babysitting”, the group said.

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The concerns were lodged in a submission to Holyrood’s Finance Committee which is meeting to discuss the issue.

The report by GTG Training stated: “We acknowledge that we may well be recruiting at the lower end of the achievement spectrum and so it might be better to view us as a highly effective safety net, saving almost 20% from lifetime unemployment. But we really do believe that more can be achieved for the unsaved majority with intelligent and innovative interventions provided there is the political will to effect change.”

Since 2009, 10% of the dealership’s apprentice intake has been targeted at the most seriously disadvantaged youngsters.

There were 3,810 inquiries for the modern apprenticeship programme last year, leading to 2,280 formal applications. Of those, 430 were deemed employable and 121 were given a job. A total of 1,850 were considered “not employable at all”.

The single biggest issue for transition from school to work is a discrepancy in working hours, GTG Training said. Apprentices consistently described a maximum 18 hours in class each week, with extended holidays and little or no access to extra curricular activities.

Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance said it is wrong to generalise all young people. “But I have to say that I absolutely agree with Arnold Clark’s wish to see skills and training provision that is even better aligned with what employers and the economy needs,” she said.

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Paul Champion

📱: 07540 704920

Twitter: @blogapprentice
Skype: paulchampion31

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