Jobcentre Plus to be trialled in Birmingham schools

Headlined by Children and Young People Now government has announced that Birmingham will be trialling Jobcentre Plus advisers in schools by the end of the month, before extending its plans to nine other pathfinder areas.

This initiative is aimed at supporting young people at risk of becoming NEET (not in employment, education or training), or who are otherwise disadvantaged in the labour market.

In a letter written by Conservative peer Baroness Evans reveals that the initiative, which she said will aim to deliver “independent, high-quality and impartial careers advice”, is not intended to be universally available to all students.

Instead it will be focused on helping young people deemed to be at risk of dropping out of education and not getting a job.

“The support will help facilitate an effective transition from schools to work, training or further study and will focus on three key areas: advising on routes into traineeships and apprenticeships; highlighting the importance of work experience using Jobcentre Plus’s extensive network of employers; and providing realistic advice on the local labour market.”

So, how will this plan affect the young people of our city and reduce the risk of them falling into poverty?


Details in the Child Poverty Needs Assessment for Birmingham FINAL – Sept 2015 produced for Birmingham Child Poverty Commission show that Long-term worklessness and Low earnings are one of the key drivers affecting young people in Birmingham.

The needs assessment summarises findings of a 2014 government report, “An evidence review of the drivers of child poverty for families in poverty now and for poor children growing up to be poor adults” including that of Educational Attainment.

“A child’s educational achievement will affect their later labour market prospects and so the risk of future poverty. A pupil’s family background has an important influence on their educational attainment, but the quality of school a child attends also makes a significant difference to their educational attainment, particularly for educationally disadvantaged children. There is robust evidence that high quality formal pre-school education can help to narrow the attainment gaps between children from different family backgrounds that emerge in children’s first years.”

Further breakdown can be found in the Child Poverty Needs Assessment 2015 by Key Stage, gender, ethnicity and geography. Can this announcement make difference to our young people?

Only time will tell before we see a difference, but what kind of difference it could make to those who receive the support and those that don’t.

Share your thoughts and views on this announcement.

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