Liverpool businesses have been urged to take on young people as apprentices by the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson.
The city council runs a number of initiatives to help employers fund apprenticeships, and has helped create hundreds of positions – but more funding is still available.
About 150 business leaders attended a special event where they heard the Mayor say: “I pledged to make tackling youth unemployment a top priority and I am still very much committed to this agenda.
“The latest figures show that there are around 12.5% of our 16/17 year olds in our City who are not engaged in any form of employment, education or training and we class these young people as ‘NEET’.
“With the support of partners and colleagues from across the city we have reduced this figure from 14.5% last year which is great; however I am aware that there is still much more to be done.
“The focus we’ve put on supporting apprenticeship initiatives in the city for our young people has been a big part of the reduction in numbers, but we need to continue to make sure that young people are given the opportunity to be able to take their first step onto the employment ladder.”
Eighteen -year-old nursery worker Bethany West (pictured) was taken on at Florrie Tots in Dingle after they signed up to the Mayoral Youth Contract Apprenticeship Business Grant Initiative. She has now secured a permanent position after studying for a level 3 childcare apprenticeship and told the business leaders about her experiences as an apprentice.
The Mayoral Youth Contract Apprenticeship Business Grant Initiative offers a subsidy of up to £3,500 for employers to take on young people who are aged 16 and 17 and not in education, employment and training (NEET).
Councillor Nick Small, cabinet member for employment, enterprise and skills, said: “This event was to inform businesses and employers in the city to make them aware that there is funding available to help create job opportunities.
“But we are not just offering financial assistance to apprenticeships. We are also looking to offer support to those employers who take on a young person who is not yet ready to undertake an apprenticeship but could work towards this with support..”