Five hundred young people from working class backgrounds will be helped to get paid internships with a new Southwark Council scheme.
The new programme will see young school-age people and recent graduates secure placements – paid at least the London Living Wage.
Tooley Street says it will ‘lead by example’ and provide 100 of its own paid internships.
Research shows young people continue to be more likely to be unemployed than those aged 25 and older, while those with parents in professional jobs are far more likely to have white collar jobs themselves.
Cllr Stephanie Cryan, cabinet member for jobs, business and innovation, said she hoped the scheme would help close this gap for people who can’t afford stints working for free while they gain experience.
“We’ve achieved record employment levels in Southwark over the last few years. However those from less advantaged backgrounds remain more likely to be out of work – or to be in a job with lower pay and prospects than their peers from better off backgrounds.
“We also know these young people face specific challenges in moving from education to employment and we want out internships to provide a platform for those who need it to embark on a successful career.”