Minister to answer webcast questions on apprenticeships

The government’s Backing Young Britain campaign aims to help young people gain experience in the workplace. But how do employers benefit from the scheme?

By News Desk
8th January 2010 at 9:24

Backing Young Britain webcastYvette Cooper, Secretary of Sate at the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) will be joined by Apprentice winner Tim Campbell, Tim Smit of the Eden Project and John Wright of the FSB to answer your questions on apprenticeships and internships.

The webcast which will take place on the Downing Street website at 2.00pm on Thursday 14 January focuses on the government initiative designed to encourage employers to give young people work experience.

This comes as youth unemployment is acknowledged to be at its highest level in several generations.

The Backing Young Britain campaign has clearly been set up to address this issue, but also provides small businesses an opportunity to access young people as interns, to offer apprenticeships and to explore other ways of developing the skills of 16-24 year olds.

Earlier surveys have shown that many employers are in the dark about the government’s apprenticeship schemes and take up has been criticised.

Indeed the Backing Young Britain website itself reveals that only 418 organisations have so far taken advantage of the schemes the campaign is promoting.

It’s interesting that Yvette Cooper has agreed to take part in a webcast and continues to demonstrate how increasingly important a digital strategy is to government.

What will be more interesting, however, is which questions are answered and which are not.

Unlike face-to-face briefings where the ability to ask questions is inevitably limited by time, online events such as these are likely to generate many more questions.  In this case time mitigates against answering them all during the webcast.

This type of engagement is a good idea, but we’d like to see a commitment from the DWP and BIS that all questions asked whether via the website or live on the day, will receive an answer.

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