We discuss the increasing number of NEETs in the UK and what we are doing to tackle unemployment in the younger generation…

A study carried out by The Work Foundation suggests that Barnsley and Doncaster are amongst the cities with the highest level of youngsters not in education, employment or training – NEETS – in the UK. The report says over 20% of each city’s population is made up of NEETs.

Wakefield and Huddersfield are not far behind with over 18% of people classified as NEETs.

Author of the report, Paul Sissons, says that many young people lack the social skills needed to gain employment in the service sector. The Work Foundation expresses growing concern that 16-24 year olds don’t have the basic skills like “communication, team working and customer service” to make the transition from education to employment, which is more likely to be in the service sector than manufacturing.

The study, Lost in Transition, suggests that changes in the job market over the past decade have caused an increasing gap between the demands of the jobs available and the type of skills that young job seekers have.

Dr Sissons says that closer links between education and employers are needed, with more integrated work experience, workplace mentors and business networking.

Last month we launched a Ready for Work programme to address this problem on a regional level.

The expected rate of growth regarding the value of the events sector to the UK economy – rising from £36.1 billion in 2011 to £48.4 billion in 2020 – will mean the burgeoning live events industry will be more in demand of a skilled, technical workforce.

Britain has a very vibrant events sector and other countries look to the UK for skills training and standards of practice.

The reported tragedies of the recent stage collapses have brought into the spotlight an indication of the widespread lack of properly trained crew.

We’ve tailored a programme of courses that can help aspiring crew ensure they have the skills to be successful and safe when working backstage.

We have just completed our debut Ready to Work training programme with NEETs from the Yorkshire region, equipping them with the basic skillset needed for employment backstage in the entertainment industry.

The students were taught at the LS-Live rehearsal studio facility here in South Kirkby, Wakefield, UK – where artists like Kasabian, Kylie, Genesis and Lady Gaga have all rehearsed. They studied a series of short training courses in Emergency First Aid, Event Safety, Fire Safety, Working at Height, Introduction to the Industry and Gaining Employment in the Sector.

So far two of the students have gained work experience in the set construction department at LS-Live and one is currently going through the application process to go on and start a career in rigging.

You can download The Work Foundation’s report Lost in Transition here: http://www.theworkfoundation.com/DownloadPublication/Report/310_lost_in_transition%20(2).pdf