In part of its plans to avoid mass unemployment in the UK, the government has launched an initiative to provide 30,000 new traineeships to get young people in England working to help breathe new life into an economy recovering from the impact of Covid-19.
Traineeships tend to last between six weeks and six months and provide classroom-based lessons for pupils aged 16 to 24 in the areas of mathematics, English, and CV writing, along with 90 hours maximum of unpaid work experience.
The Treasury said in a statement earlier in July: "Young people's employment prospects are expected to be disproportionately affected by the economic fallout of coronavirus.
"Expanding traineeships will be part of a wider package to support young people and to ensure they have the skills and training to go on to high quality, secure and fulfilling employment.”
The £111 million scheme will see companies provided with a £1,000 cash bonus for every new work experience place they offer out up to £10,000.
David Hughes, the chief executive of the Association of Colleges, commented: "We know that young people get treated very badly in recessions and will be at the back of the queue for jobs.
"What we want is a whole range of actions that the government can take: put money into colleges to give them a chance, incentivise employers to take on trainees, but also take on apprenticeships as well.
"We need really bold action now on both the labour market and on skills."
The expanded traineeship scheme in England begins in September this year, with the Treasury indicating that employers must offer “a high-quality work placement of 60 to 90 hours” to qualify.
Official figures suggest that three-quarters of 18 to 24-year-olds who complete traineeships move on to employment or further study within 12 months. Yet, the number of people taking up traineeships has been in decline over the last four years according to the Department for Education, peaking at 24,100 people in 2015-16 and dropping to 14,900 in the year 2018.
An effort to reinvigorate traineeships could come as a major boost to training providers in the ilk of DMR Training & Consultancy, a specialist provider for the construction sector.
DMR delivers qualifications ranging from level one to level seven including NVQs, apprenticeships and, rather crucially, traineeships.
The opportunity to lend hand in the economic recovery would certainly be one to relish for the firm’s owner, Dave Radley, after the height of the Covid-19 pandemic proved a real test for the business.
Radley told the Leaders Council: “Covid-19 has been a rollercoaster. We started to prepare in early to mid-March for getting whoever we could prepared to work from home out of those who did not have to go and work on sites. We informed staff of a three-month plan straight away to keep everyone on board and in work.
“The biggest challenge for us during lockdown was maintaining morale, because one bit of bad news could really have an impact in bringing down people’s spirits.”
For the future, Radley hopes that the firm can continue its trajectory of recent growth, and any support from the traineeship scheme could prove fruitful.
He said: “We want to keep developing our people and we have reflected a lot on what we can offer during the lockdown and have looked to build on that. We have grown a lot in the last year, so I would like to think we can come out of this even more resilient and continue our growth.”