Youth job fears over career service cuts

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Job centre in Liverpool. Pic by Andrew McKenna

Job centre in Liverpool. Pic by Andrew McKenna

Young people in Merseyside may now find their chances of finding work hindered by cuts to employment services.

Up to 45 career advisers across Liverpool may lose their jobs which could have a detrimental effect on 16-to-18 year-olds needing guidance.

Liverpool, Wirral, Halton and Knowsley Councils are inviting bids to run professional advice services for 16 to 18-year-olds, but cuts to the funding mean there won’t be enough staff employed to provide the necessary support.

Council leaders have insisted that the streamlining of services will not have any impact on the quality of service given.

The four councils are looking to use a ‘tracking service’ in future which will enable staff to monitor the employment and training outcomes for young people. The Council has confirmed this service will only need a small amount of staff to run effectively.

Labour councillor Nick Small, Cabinet Member for Skills, Enterprise and Employment, told JMU Journalism: “The unprecedented government cuts being imposed on councils mean that we’ve got to do more with less on careers advice.

“Liverpool’s got a strong record on youth employment. Since 2010 we created nearly 1,000 apprenticeships and the Mayoral Youth Contract has helped over 100 16 and 17 year olds into work.

“That’s why Liverpool’s the only big city in the country where the number of 16 and 17 year olds not in employment, education and training is falling, not rising. We want to keep things that way.”

Young people will still receive impartial careers advice from schools and can use the local service Connexions which is open to people of all ages and is partly funded by Liverpool City Council.

Many local schools use the company’s ‘Career Connect’ service. Connexions supply schools with an on-site careers adviser while many other schools have alternative careers arrangements. All schools must legally provide independent and impartial careers advice.

The National Careers Service also offers over the phone and online help to people looking for advice but you must be 18 or over to meet a careers adviser face-to-face.

About Harriet Midgley, JMU Journalism