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Wiltshire Council, which has one of the highest numbers of young employees compared to other councils across the country, has pledged to help get even more under 25s into work.
A recent report to the council’s staffing policy committee has shown that 6.7 percent of the council’s workforce is aged under 25 – compared to a national average for councils of 4.4 percent.
Wiltshire also fared much more favourably in a special comparison exercise with seven other councils whose percentage of employers aged 25 and under ranged from 2.7 percent to 5 percent.
The council is committed to offering work and training opportunities to more people in this age group and also support the county’s other employers to do the same.
Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for resources, John Noeken, said:
Unemployment rates amongst the 18 to 24 age group is a national problem we are very much aware of. I’m very pleased that Wiltshire Council is employing more people in this age group than a lot of other councils but there is more we can do. Like many other organisations we have been constrained by the current economic climate, but we are determined to help more of our young people find work – not just at the council but in the community as well.”
The council will shortly be launching its own people strategy which will include actions to tackle the issues of recruiting and retaining more under 25s in the workforce.
The strategy will outline the actions required to develop career programmes and reward and recognition schemes at the council, as well as initiatives to promote the council as an employer of choice at schools and colleges and the council’s apprenticeship and graduate schemes.
The council already offers a wide range of unpaid work experience opportunities for school, college and university students. In addition the council is working with partners on the Wiltshire Employment & Skills Board on a range of initiatives to help people in this age group move into employment, including:
- driving apprenticeship growth in the county
- supporting young people into work through the establishment of Sector Based Work Academies
- self-employment advice and support to start a new business through the recently launched Wiltshire Business Support Service
- work experience placements of between two and eight weeks for unemployed young people
- encouraging the establishment of community led work clubs in the county
- development of volunteering opportunities for young people to increase their skills, experience and chances of employment