17 February 2011
As one in three young people in the borough are struggling to find jobs, as a new report shows that given the right help they could add up to £135,000 to economy over the next three years.
A new charity enterprise scheme is not only helping young people get jobs but also to start up their own businesses.
The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme has supported more than 490 unemployed young people in London, including Southwark, since its launch in January 2010.
The youth charity is now urging local government, businesses and individuals to offer more support and funding, to help thousands more young people across the capital.
The new report published by The Prince’s Trust and the Citi Foundation, Today’s Young People; Tomorrow’s Economy, using a methodology developed by the independent evaluator SQW, estimates the scheme so far could add up to £2.5 million to London’s economy over a three year period, with a £135,000 boost to Southwark alone.
The figure takes into account the potential financial benefits of helping local young people into jobs or starting them up in business in terms of economic earnings.
On top of this figure, there are savings to the public purse in terms of Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Despite the UK officially emerging from the recession more than a year ago, almost one in three young people in Southwark are struggling to find a job (32 per cent).
Nationally, 951,000 16 to 24-year-olds are now out of work - the highest number since records began in 1992.
Ben Marson, Head of the Enterprise Programme for The Prince’s Trust in London and the South East, said: “The growing success of our Enterprise Programme shows that young people here in Southwark are very entrepreneurial.
“By harnessing their enthusiasm for enterprise, not only will the public purse save on Job Seeker handouts, but Southwark’s economy stands to gain thousands through young people’s skills and talents.”
He added: “Now we need further funds to support more young people across the borough, helping them escape long-term unemployment and poverty for good.
“Many of these young people will become the employers of tomorrow, providing services that Southwark needs. By helping today’s young people, we are investing in tomorrow’s economy.”
Renowned for helping young people into businesses for more than 28 years, The Prince’s Trust recently changed the way it supports unemployed 18 to 30-year-olds with their sights set on being their own boss.
The youth charity now runs four-day Explore Enterprise courses to help young people work out if self-employment is right for them. Course participants write business plans, test their ideas and learn about areas such as finance, growth and marketing.
By helping to hone entrepreneurial skills and building confidence and motivation, the programme now helps many young people into jobs and training, as well as backing business start-ups through financial support and business mentoring.
The programme is widely supported by the local community, including funders such as the Anglo-American Group Foundation. In London, The Prince’s Trust benefits from the expertise of more than 300 volunteers, who mentor young start-ups for up to three years, guiding them through the challenges of starting and growing a successful business.
Today (Thursday 17 February), James Caan - Dragon’s Den star and author of new book ‘Get the Job You Really Want’ will help The Prince’s Trust to launch a series of live monthly webchats to provide advice and support to unemployed young people. Visit www.princes-trust.org.uk/ to send questions in advance or log on between 2pm and 3pm today to take part live.
For more information on how to support The Prince’s Trust please contact the London and South East office on 0207 543 1400.
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