Jobs for young people go unfilled despite demand

HMS Victory and the Mary Rose Museum from the air     Picture: Shaun Roster

‘Nowhere in Europe offers everything Portsmouth does’

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OUT-OF-WORK young people are not applying for jobs that are available in Portsmouth.

Gavin Smith, of the Peta training agency in North Harbour, says there are 21 apprenticeships available in and around the city, specifically for people aged between 16 and 24.

As reported in The News, the number of young people out of work for a year or more in the city has jumped from 20 in April 2011 to 115.

Nationally, youth unemployment rose to record levels in January.

Mr Smith said: ‘With 16 to 24-year-old unemployment at an all-time high, we’re astonished by the drop in the number of people applying for these vacancies. We’d assume we’d have hundreds of eager people coming forward.

‘I suspect there’s a couple of reasons why people aren’t coming forward for the apprenticeships.

‘There has been a reduction in the amount of information and advice and guidance since the demise of the Connexions service.

‘Other than that I’m at a bit of a loss to explain why people aren’t going for the jobs.’

Peta advertises its vacancies with the National Apprenticeship Service and in publications such as The News.

Mr Smith added: ‘We’re trying to do everything to get the message out.’

He is still urging companies from all sectors to offer apprenticeships.

‘There are incentives at the moment, such as a £1,500 for employers offering a 16 to 24-year-old apprenticeship for the first time.

‘Training organisations such as ourselves or Highbury College, for example, manage the learning side of it.

‘Apprenticeships bring so many benefits to employers.

‘They bring young blood into a company, and they work hard.’