Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION - DO­MINIC GRIEVE MP for Bea­cons­field

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.

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