Yorkshire parents worry job market is holding children back

Competition in the job market worries Yorkshire parents.
Picture: PA
Competition in the job market worries Yorkshire parents. Picture: PA
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COMPETITION in the job market is a key barrier to young people getting work, Yorkshire parents believe.

Well over half of parents in the region who responded to a survey by the charity Action for Children, 61 per cent, believe that the competitive job market is stopping their children securing the job that they want.

Over a third of Yorkshire parents, 38 per cent, feel their children are not likely to obtain the skills and qualifications they need to find a suitable job, with 11 per cent citing their background as a barrier to finding a profession.

The charity, which runs children’s centres and other services across Yorkshire, said cuts to student grants were also presenting a barrier for their children getting on in early adulthood.

Nationally, the charity found most parents wanted their children to go on to work in professionals sectors, with more than one in three choose legal, financial, medicine, science or management fields when they grew up.

Less than one in ten, nine per cent, wanted their child to go into trade such as building, plumbing or electrical.

When asked what path they wished their children to take after school, 64 per cent said they wished them to go to university, 22 per cent chose an apprenticeship, and 18 per cent said full time employment.

John Egan, director of children services at Action for Children across Yorkshire, said: “Parents want the best in life for their children, including a career, but with cuts to student grants and stiff competition for jobs many young people, especially the disadvantaged, just don’t have the same chance as some of their peers to improve their life chances.

“At Action for Children, we provide opportunities for young people to develop – from employment and training services offering young people work tasters and placements to skills and job seeking workshops, and internship opportunities. We know from talking to people who use our services that this helps young people thrive and drive their educational achievement.”

Umar Daraz, 22, from Dewsbury, left school without any qualifications and was out of work for several years. He was also helping to care for his mother, who wasn’t well, but spending so much time at home, without a job, was making him depressed. He found out about an apprenticeship scheme at Action for Children and spent six months at Dewsbury West Children’s Centre learning administrative skills.

“I wasn’t doing anything before, I was sitting at home doing nothing. It made me quite bored and I felt down as well,” he said.

“I learnt how to do admin work, inputting skills and I also did a bit of Community Link, which is talking to people who come to the centres and going out in the community handing out leaflets about courses. I enjoyed it.

“I found out that I’d rather be doing the admin and business side, that’s what I was interested in.”

At the end of the six-month placement, Mr Daraz applied for a job as an administrative assistant at the centre and was successful. He’s been a member of staff at the centre since August last year.

He added: “I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t done the apprenticeship.

“It’s helped me a lot – it’s given me confidence, got me out of the house and talking to people, has given me social skills and improved my communication skills and awareness.

“Now I’d like to progress, become better at what I’m doing and see where it takes me.”