PMQs: Cameron plans to tackle youth unemployment with work experience placements

During yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Questions the Prime Minister was questioned about the recent rise in youth unemployment figures. David Cameron accepted the number of young people out of work was “unacceptably high”, but defends his Government’s efforts to tackle unemployment.

Towards the end of the 30 minute programme, Labour MP Chris Bryant asked the Prime Minister about what actions he is taking to deal with the one million unemployed young people:

“The personal damage caused by long term unemployment can be phenomenal. On average, somebody who is unemployed for more than 6 months are 6 times more likely to contract a serious mental health problem. Doesn’t the Prime Minister worry that we are going to have a generation of young people who will be suffering many of the problems of lack of self-esteem and never having a first job? Wouldn’t it make more sense to be guaranteeing every under 24 year old a job after 6 months being unemployed, paying them to work not paying them benefits?”

In his response, David Cameron defended the Government’s efforts and talked about the success of work experience placements:

“A very important point which is the scarring effect of youth unemployment. There are two very important things that we are doing to try and help that. First of all, helping within 3 months through the work programme for those not in employment, education and training rather than 6 months under the Future Jobs Fund. Secondly, one of the most successful schemes that there has been in recent years is giving people work experience placements. In many cases, and we will be producing evidence for this soon, it is actually leading to direct employment opportunities for those young people.”

Inspiring Interns support the Government’s plans of to offer work experience placements in the fight against youth unemployment. With increasing numbers of graduates entering the job market it has become vital for them to have meaningful work experience. We agree with his view that quality, well-structured internships can lead to employment opportunities. Our own statistics show that 65% of our graduate internships lead to permanent roles with the host company and the vast majority of the remaining 35% gain employment elsewhere as a result of the extra experience their internship provided.