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Local authorities should provide employment opportunities, says council leader
Wednesday, 04 March 2009
Graduates could find work if councils provide apprenticeships and "taster schemes", as has been suggested in a report by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council leader Stephen Houghton.
Mr Houghton has called for 50,000 apprenticeship places and 75,000 "taster schemes" to let those looking for work gain valuable experience to be provided by local authorities by 2012, a plea that has received ministerial backing.
Barnsley government minister John Healey has confirmed £3 million, pooled from local and central government funds, to help get the plans in motion.
Along with education minister Tony McNulty, Mr Healey will also set up a national forum which will bring together councils and local authorities, as well as governmental departments, to make sure Mr Houghton's recommendations are implemented.
Mr Houghton said: "Councils must urgently make an assessment of their local situation and plan how to help get people the right training and make sure they have as many opportunities as possible to get jobs quickly."
The funds put into Mr Houghton's plan are aimed to counteract the effects of the recession on councils - research revealed last week by the Local Government Association showed that over a half of councils are considering job cuts.