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Over 30 local businesses have pledged to support Islington Council and the Islington Business Board in their drive to tackle youth unemployment in the borough.
The Ready to Work event was hosted by Expedia in St John Street on 26 June. Guests heard from local employers K&M McLoughlin Painting and Decorating Ltd and the Business Design Centre, who already offer apprenticeships and placements to young unemployed residents. Some of the apprentices who have benefitted from these placements also spoke about their experiences.
By the end of the event, over 70 pledges were made from Islington businesses such as Lipton Plant Architects, CVU and Moorfields Eye Hospital. The pledges included commitments to discuss:
*Offering apprenticeships and work experience placements to young Islington residents
*Volunteering staff time to attend the council's mentoring and work club schemes
*Creating local job opportunities
Leader of Islington Council, Cllr Catherine West, said:
"We're working hard as a council to help our residents get into training and employment. But we need the help of local businesses too and the annual Ready to Work event is a good opportunity to get them on board.
"Both employers and young people have lots of inspiring stories about the really positive difference that apprenticeships, mentoring and work experience can make. I was really encouraged to see that so many of those businesses that came along have pledged to support our efforts to tackle youth unemployment in Islington."
The Ready to Work event was organised by the council's Business Employment Support Team (BEST) on behalf of the Islington Business Board.
Ken Friar, executive director of Arsenal and member of the Islington Business Board, said:
"The contribution of businesses is crucial to tackling youth unemployment and the Ready to Work event provides a strong catalyst to engage with local employers and secure jobs for Islington’s young people.
"Islington Business Board thanks all the businesses who attended for the contribution they will make to our work to tackle youth unemployment in Islington through job offers, apprenticeships, work experience opportunities and allowing their employees to volunteer for our local initiatives."
More than 40 young residents have been employed as apprentices by Islington Council over the last year. Council apprenticeships offer valuable work experience and regular support from a mentor, along with the opportunity to gain an NVQ qualification.
The council's BEST team also works with local businesses and organisations across a variety of sectors, helping them to form links with the community, improve the employment prospects of young people and create vacancies and apprenticeships for residents. In the last 12 months, 783 such opportunities have been established, including 153 apprenticeships.
Any local organisations with job vacancies for local people or who are interested in setting up an apprenticeship scheme, offering work experience or mentoring can contact Best@islington.gov.uk or call 020 7527 3465 to find out how Islington Council can help.
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