Press release -

Department for Work And Pensions: Together UK Employers and Government are making a difference - Cooper

Asda, British Airways, Macmillan Cancer Support and Microsoft are just some of the organisations that have thrown their weight behind the Backing Young Britain campaign to create new opportunities for thousands of young people during the recession.

Today Yvette Cooper, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is calling on more British businesses to Back Young Britain and wants them to offer a job, apprenticeship or work experience.

Speaking at a webcast event today to employers and young people Yvette Cooper said:

“We are determined to do everything we can to help the next generation of young people get ahead. If every one of the two million businesses across the UK could offer one single job, apprenticeship or training opportunity to a young person, then we could make a real difference and help young people get that all important first foot on the career ladder.”

Young people have been at the heart of the £5bn investment Government is making in helping people back into work, with every single 18-24 year old who finds themselves out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for six months or more guaranteed a job, work focused training or work experience.

Speaking at the webcast event today John Wright, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“Small businesses are stepping forward as the key to tackling the challenge of youth unemployment. At least one in five says they are keen to take on graduate interns and the majority would like to take on an apprentice.

“Apprenticeships are vital for fostering skills they can help make small businesses stronger and better equipped to survive the recession and help the economy recover. Research shows that one in four graduates are subsequently offered fulltime employment - a win-win for both the business and the graduate.”

Philip Oliver, CEO Blitz Game Studios, said:

"When it comes to training and interns, we want to be a guiding light for industry. We have committed ourselves to developing our existing workforce and the next generation of staff, wherever they may be."

Notes to editors

1. Business, charities and public sector employers are being called on to join those organisations already Backing Young Britain and to pledge support by signing up at

2. They can commit to it by offering a young person a job, an apprenticeship or the chance to gain valuable work experience.

3. Government launched Backing Young Britain in July 2009 with the aim of bringing Government, businesses and public and voluntary sectors together to get young people into jobs, apprenticeships or find them work experience opportunities.



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