Updated: Friday, 17th November 2017 @ 12:59pm

'No more wasted potential': Salford MP relaunches work experience scheme to help kick-start youths' careers

'No more wasted potential': Salford MP relaunches work experience scheme to help kick-start youths' careers

By Suraj Radia

Unemployed youths in Salford are again being offered the chance to gain work experience in a scheme led by Labour MP Hazel Blears.

Kids Without Connections was launched by the Salford and Eccles MP last year, after receiving feedback from youths unable to find work due to lack of experience.

Within two months of the scheme, around half of the 23 people involved had found meaningful jobs and Ms Blears believes the programme can be invaluable to both parties.

“I started Kids Without Connections because I didn’t want their potential to be wasted and I wanted to do something to give them hope for the future,” she said.

“I was so pleased to see so many of those who took part in last year’s scheme go on to find work but it would not be possible without the help of the business community.

“So many of the employers who took part in last year’s scheme told me how rewarding they found it to give a young person that chance and then see them grab it with both hands.”

Figures from December 2012 show 930 people aged 16-24 in Salford and Eccles were claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance – a quarter of the total number of claimants.

The scheme involves local businesses offering a young person a short period of unpaid work experience to learn more about what is involved.

A lunch has been organised on February 15 at the Damson Restaurant in MediaCityUK for businesses to attend and learn more about the programme.

With the second round of placements set to run for four weeks from March 25, Ms Blears is determined to continue helping those who may struggle to find work.

“With unemployment still high in Salford, particularly among the under-24s, it is increasingly hard for young people to get that crucial foot in the door,” she said.

“It is particularly difficult for those from poorer backgrounds, whose families may not have connections among relatives, friends and colleagues to help them get work experience.”

Any local business interested in attending the lunch or taking part in Kids Without Connections should email blearsh@parliament.uk or call Ms Blears’ office on 0161 9250705.

Details on how young people can get involved in the scheme will be announced shortly.

Picture courtesy of Steve Punter, with thanks

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