Don Foster MP


Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visits Bath to urge businesses to support young unemployed

Earlier today, Don Foster MP welcomed Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to Bath as he met with business leaders to promote a flagship government programme.

Rotork’s Peter France informs Don and the Deputy Prime Minister about actuators.

Business leaders heard directly from the Deputy Prime Minister about the Youth Contract, a £1bn programme to tackle youth unemployment through new jobs and training.

The Youth Contract includes a wage incentive of £2,275 for employers who recruit an 18-24 year old through the Work Programme or Jobcentre Plus. It also creates additional work experience places and apprenticeship grants. The Deputy Prime Minster heard from businesses in Bath who are already supporting young unemployed people through the Youth Contract as well as speaking to employers and local business leaders to encourage them to follow suit.

Commenting on his visit, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said:

“I’m determined to tackle youth unemployment and am urging businesses in Bath to come on board and join me in doing so. Business has a huge role to play in supporting young unemployed people and getting them earning or learning.


“I’m grateful to the businesses in Bath who came along today and look forward to hearing about how the Youth Contract is progressing in the area.

“If you’re under 25 and unemployed then the message today is also clear. We are putting the money in to get you earning or learning through the Youth Contract. If you want to work or train, then we – together with businesses – will help you. If you haven’t already done so, I urge you to get along to your local Job Centre today to ask about the opportunities available to you.”

Commenting, Don added:

“Youth unemployment is an economic waste and a slow-burn social disaster. If young people are out of work, the consequences of that will be felt for decades afterwards. We need to ensure young people here in bath and across the country do not have a false start.

“As a Liberal Democrat, I am proud that the Coalition Government is working with business to do the right thing to prevent another lost generation.”

The meeting was held at Rotork plc, a global company headquartered in Bath that is the recognised leader in their field within the flow control industry. Since the company began Rotork has supported young people with an award winning apprenticeship programme and these apprentices have developed into senior managers within the company. Rotork is also engaged with local schools, colleges and universities as part of the Bath Education Trust that focuses on developing employability.

After the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister went on a tour of Rotork, to see its manufacturing processes, during which he met with apprentices and staff.

Peter France, Rotork’s Chief Executive, commented:

“We are very proud of our apprentice scheme with the programme designed to develop each individual in order for them to progress to their full potential. Each year we take on new apprentices and we currently have 23 apprentices in the United Kingdom.”

Nationwide, more than half a million young people are set to benefit from the Youth Contract over a three year period.

The key elements of the Youth Contract are:

  • 160,000 wage incentives worth up to £2,275 each for employers who recruit an 18-24 year old through the Work Programme or Jobcentre Plus
  • An extra 250,000 work experience or sector-based work academy places
  • An additional 20,000 Apprenticeship Grants for Employers
  • Additional adviser support through Jobcentre Plus
  • An opportunity to have a careers interview with the National Careers Service
  • Around £120m to help the most disengaged 16/17 year old NEETS (not in education, employment or training) in England back in to education, training or a job with training.

Photos courtesy of FT Publicity

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