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Boost for youth jobs market with pioneering new scheme at Hampshire County Council
Civic leaders in Hampshire are set to take on 1,000 new apprentices.
Around one third of all job vacancies advertised by Hampshire County Council are set to be offered as apprenticeships under a pioneering new scheme starting this year.
Young trainees have already been taken on by the authority for a number of years in roles such as mechanics, park rangers and teaching assistants.
Now council chiefs have agreed to expand this further, in a bid to attract more people aged 16-25 into its workforce.
It comes after the council saved £98m over the past two years by slashing about 1,700 jobs and services, including children’s centres, rural buses and day care for adults with learning disabilities.
But the council’s Cabinet has unanimously backed the new apprenticeship scheme, which will see up to 1,000 new apprentices taken on during the next five years.
Around 170 young workers will be recruited every year under the Hampshire Youth Investment Programme, with an extra 30 positions a year also made available to young people in care or leaving care.
Hampshire County Council leader, Cllr Ken Thornber, put forward the proposals in a bid to help more unemployed youngsters across the county get their foot on the career ladder.
The jobs bonanza is set to start this summer, when the first group of new apprentices and interns will be taken on with a view to starting their full time jobs in September.
They will be supported with help, on the job training and any further academic study they may need to gain the qualifications they may have missed out on in secondary education. Youngsters will be taken on at three different levels – intermediate, advanced or higher, with the higher level seen as an alternative to a university course, leading to a foundation degree or a higher national certificate diploma.
Cllr Thornber said: “There are many young people in Hampshire whose prospects are, to say the least, very uncertain and gone are the days when jobs were generally available.
“Our apprentices will be people who want to get on in life, people who are hard working, keen to learn, enthusiastic and show initiative.
“They will want to work as part of a team, committed to always doing things better.
“This is an exciting programme that will help us to harness young talent, encourage innovation and help us meet future requirements.”