VIEW FROM THE HOUSE
AS I was making advance preparations for a visit to the Beaconsfield High School in my constituency, the latest details of employment statistics were released. The pupils I will be meeting will be thinking about and planning for their future, whether they intend to go on to higher education or to find a job.
Nationally, the employment rate remains at a record high of 74.5 per cent, with 31.8 million in work. That is up by 2.8 million since 2010.
Across the Beaconsfield constituency, there were 408 unemployed claimants in September 2016. Although this represents an increase of 50 over the same time last year, with a rise of 13 since August 2016, the Beaconsfield constituency has a rate of only 0.8 per cent of the economically active population. This constituency is ranked number 592 out of the 650 constituencies in the UK, with 650 being the constituency with the lowest number of people out of work. So the general trend means there remain good employment prospects for people who are looking for work.
There are always concerns to make sure that the prospects for young people match those for people who have been part of the workforce for a longer time. Youth unemployment (people who are aged 18 to 24) has fallen by more than 300,000 since 2010.
Amongst the information on employment by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions was the announcement of the roll out of the Jobcentre Plus Support for Schools schemes. This was piloted in January 2016. The idea is that advisers will help tens of thousands of pupils to take the first steps of their working careers. That can include applying for an apprenticeship, so young workers can study for a recognised professional qualification alongside their training in the workplace.