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Restrictions on employing young people adding to Brexit jobs dilemma

Posted on July 25, 2019

But of equal concern, she believes, is the ability to take on young people who, at the age of 16 or 17, who simply want to work and take their first steps on the ladder to a worthwhile job with good prospects.

In England it is legally possible to leave school at the age of 16 but there’s the proviso – either continue in full-time education at college or sixth form until the age of 18, take up an apprenticeship or go into part-time education or accredited training, spending at least 20 hours a week working or volunteering.

Helen said: “The impact of us potentially leaving the EU has already had an enormous effect on our economy with 10 per cent of our European workers returning home and leaving gaps for employers who are reliant on low-skilled employees to keep their businesses buoyant.

“As part of our risk strategy, we have explored the potential difficulties that our clients could encounter - shortfalls in flexible labour supply in sectors such as food processing and driving and the knock-on effect this could have to their output.

“Now added to this is the issue of there being real job roles to fill, young people who are ready and able to fill them – but are being restricted by current governments policies.”

Helen continued: “We strategically moved our headquarters to the centre of Birkenhead, making us more accessible to job-seekers. We know there’s a huge source of local labour to fill vacancies for employers operating in manufacturing, industrial and call centre sectors, particularly now at this exciting time that the regeneration plans for the town and surrounding areas are now starting to happen.

“Apprenticeships are a great opportunity for people but are not necessarily for everyone. There are many 16- and 17-year-olds who are bright, intelligent, want to work full-time and not necessarily through the apprenticeship route or on an apprenticeship salary.

“Due to current policy, they are essentially forced down the education route to enable them to find work. Worryingly, they may not be committed to the course that they have enrolled on purely to meet the requirements of the need to be in education while working under the age of 18.

“For us and for employers, there needs to be a solution before we dishearten young people entering into the world of work and, following a potential Brexit, see a pool of labour diminish further.

“Recruit Right are committed to supporting people into work and ensuring our clients have the right temporary labour to meet the needs of their businesses and will endeavour to overcome any potential challenges ahead.”