Southwark Council says it is stepping up efforts to get young people into training and work to help tackle disruption to education during lockdown and rising youth employment.
The local authority is working with Southwark-based businesses and other organisations to create more opportunities for young people aged sixteen to 25, including its own internship programme.
In September last year, UK unemployment rose to its highest rate for two years – with those aged eighteen to 24 worst affected.
As part of the new initiative, the council will be working closely with local businesses and other partner organisations to help create and broaden the range of opportunities available to young people in Southwark.
The council’s new initiative promotes a raft of opportunities available to young people aged 16 to 25 years old in Southwark to help support them into employment and training, from internships to apprenticeships; jobs to voluntary roles; NVQs to university degrees.
Cllr Kieron Williams, Leader of Southwark Council, said: “In the wake of COVID-19, it has never been a harder time for younger residents to find their way in the world of work or further education.
“Young people in school and college have missed out on months of education, experienced a confusing and upsetting exam results process, and been faced with fewer choices and less certainty about their future.
“Soaring unemployment rates have hit younger generations the hardest, particularly as many were in low paid, unstable work.
“We want to do all we can to continue to invest in our young people and support them at this difficult time. Our new scheme is all about making it easier for young people to find opportunities that will help them access jobs, training, volunteering and work experience that reflect their ambitions and hard work.
“I’d urge any young person thinking about their next steps to sign up to our mailing list as there’s a fantastic array of local opportunities, both with the council and more widely.”
Cllr Stephanie Cryan, cabinet member for jobs, culture and skills (pictured) said: “The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the economic life-chances of our residents, particularly young people ready to join a rapidly shrinking labour market.
“Southwark Council’s paid internships are just one way we’re helping to provide a platform for young people to embark on successful careers, where their many talents and skills also enrich our workforce.
“We’d love to hear from local businesses who think they could offer something similar, such as an apprenticeship or intern scheme.”
Visit www.southwark.gov.uk/nextstep for more information.