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Boost for London’s young jobseekers

Six major businesses in the capital have joined forces to tackle youth unemployment in London.

From Press releases - 30 September 2015 01:00 PM

Modelled on a successful pilot in the North West of England, the London Youth Engagement Programme has enlisted big energy and utility sector businesses to boost the employment prospects of young jobseekers and make them ‘work ready’ within a matter of weeks.
Led by London’s electricity provider, UK Power Networks, with partners, Amey, Clancy Docwra, SGN, Morrison Utility Services and Affinity Sutton, the companies have worked in partnership with the Energy & Utility Skills Group to develop an engaging 10 week pre-employment training programme and practical on-the-job work experience for young people with a number of intakes happening over the next year. 
In the first two weeks the recruits will face an army leadership development course, join a community volunteering challenge day with a London youth charity, learn about money management, personal brand, conflict management and safety psychology. They will also be helped to set up a profile on the Energy & Efficiency Industrial Partnership’s Talent Source Network to promote themselves to potential employers.
The recruits will be mainly identified via the Jobcentre Plus and the first group starts on September 28. After an intensive two-week induction programme developing their employability skills the following eight weeks will be practical experience with the partner organisations. UK Power Networks’ recruits will complete their work placements at the company’s London depots in Camden, West Ham, Brixton or Falconwood.
Chris Degg, director of human resources at UK Power Networks, said: “They will gain tangible work experience within a large corporate brand and build self-confidence in their own potential. Even if they decide the utility sector isn’t for them they will leave this programme with the confidence to seek out a career they want to pursue.
“Our energy industry is facing an ageing workforce, yet there is a large pocket of young people we don’t have access to. We have great opportunities for apprentices and experienced staff but some young people don’t fit the mould because they don’t have the qualifications for example. Not everyone does well at school, but that doesn’t mean an individual is any less capable. We will see young people in action that we might not normally have the chance to meet and identify as talent for the future.
“I’m very excited about this scheme because it’s something I feel extremely passionate about.”
Aidan Brooks, from the Energy and Utility Skills Group, said: “We are proud to be supporting UK Power Networks and the London Youth Engagement Programme as we recognise just how much of a difference these programmes can make to young people, whilst also helping the sector build its workforce for the future. The success of these programmes, as seen in the North West and in Scotland, can be attributed to collaboration across the sector, addressing the skills shortage through the Energy & Efficiency Industrial Partnership. Supported by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and as part of an agreement with the Department for Work and Pensions, the sector is leading on engaging and empowering new talent today to ensure the success of our industries in the future.”