Press release

Half a million work experience and training opportunities snapped up

Jobseekers have taken part in half a million voluntary employer-led placements or work experience through Jobcentre Plus since January 2011.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Jobseekers have taken part in nearly half a million voluntary employer-led placements or work experience through Jobcentre Plus since January 2011, new figures published today (25 February 2015) reveal.

More than 7 in 10 were young people, using the schemes to increase their skills and experience to help them move into work, as recent figures show the number of young people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance is now at its lowest since the 1970s.

Map showing how work experience or a sector-based work academy can improve your chances of finding a job

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Employment Minister Esther McVey said:

The young people I meet tell me that they need work experience to get a job – but they need a job to get work experience. That’s why we hugely expanded our schemes, which have now benefitted nearly half a million people, helping them to get their foot on the career ladder.

With youth unemployment falling by a fifth in the last year, we are making sure this country’s young people get the best possible start to their working lives, giving them the opportunity to build a career and perhaps go on to be the employers of the future.

Record numbers of people are now in work – with the majority of the rise in the last year being full-time jobs – and they are feeling more secure about having a steady income. We are working closely with employers across the country to ensure jobseekers have the skills and experience that businesses need.

Today’s figures show:

  • jobseekers have taken part in over 300,000 work experience placements organised through Jobcentre Plus, which is a voluntary scheme where people can do a placement of between 2 to 8 weeks with a local employer

  • over 169,000 places on sector-based work academies have been picked up – these are voluntary employer-led schemes run in conjunction with Jobcentre Plus, made up of pre-employment training, work experience placements and a guaranteed job interview

  • in total over 469,000 opportunities have been picked up by claimants of all ages

  • nearly 24,000 of the opportunities have been picked up by people over 50, showing how valuable work experience and learning new skills are for a career change

  • over 84,000 opportunities have been taken up by people with disabilities

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offers a range of support across the country to get people off benefits and into jobs through its network of over 700 Jobcentres. These include:

  • work experience
  • employer-led training
  • work placements
  • skills training
  • the Work Programme
  • help for budding entrepreneurs through the New Enterprise Allowance

Surveys have shown that the schemes are proving successful in helping young people get jobs. Findings include:

  • more than 80% of young people felt they were more attractive to employers following work experience or an employer-led placement
  • around 75% of work experience participants said it had provided them with new skills and increased their confidence
  • 42% were offered a job at the end of their placement – around two thirds of people who got a job with a different employer said the sector-based work academies helped them get the job
  • more than 40% of young people who took part in a work experience placement had got a job since the placement
  • work experience participants are 16% more likely to be off benefits than similar non-participants 21 weeks after starting a placement
  • nearly a quarter of people who finished a work experience placement were offered a job by the employer who gave them work experience.

The number of young people out of work has fallen by 188,000 to December 2014, compared to the same month in 2013, and the number claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has fallen for the last 38 months.

More published figures

Youth Contract figures from April 2012:

  • work experience: from April 2012 to Nov 2014, 198,080 work experience starts have been picked up by 18 to 24 year olds
  • sector-based work academies: from April 2012 to Nov 2014, 83,530 sector-based work academies pre-employment training opportunities have been started by 18-24 year olds

Total work experience and sector-based work academy figures from January 2011:

  • work experience: from January 2011 to Nov 2014, 300,290 Work Experience starts have been picked up by people (aged 16-50+)
  • sector-based work academies: from August 2011 to Nov 2014, 169,330 sector-based work academies pre-employment training opportunities have been started by people (aged 16-50+)

Read more about Pre-Work Programme and Youth Contract statistics

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Published 25 February 2015