The news is things will start from April.
Here is the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills’ press release on the National Internship Scheme, from Monday:
Monday 12 January 2009
‘‘Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (National)’’
‘’‘Guaranteed extra help for people unemployed for six months’’’
£83 million to offer around 75,000 people high quality training places to help them back into work over the next two years was announced today by Skills Secretary John Denham as part of the Government’s new support package for people out of work.
Combined with the new money already announced to help those facing redundancy as a result of the downturn, the additional help will support people who have been out of work for more than six months. Overall the investment will mean that 100,000 people will be given support to help them back into work.
The proposals will see 75,000 new training places in colleges and other training providers and are part of a radical shake-up of further education (FE). This will allow people to train while they are looking for a job and carry on with their course once they get into work. The changes also mean that FE colleges will be paid to get people into work.
John Denham said:
"We will not make the mistakes of the past and just leave people abandoned on the dole, or push them onto sickness benefit.
"We will do everything we can to help people through this tough time and help them prepare for the economic upturn when it comes.
"We know that people whose skills are up to date are much more likely to find a good job, and that employers with well trained staff survive a recession much better than firms which don’t invest in skills.
“This is an investment in the long-term future of our people and our economy. In the future there will be far fewer jobs for people with no skills but the number of high-skilled jobs will grow. Britain will need skilled workers if it is going to compete.”
While the Government cannot guarantee existing jobs in any economic climate, the new measures will help people get the skills and qualifications that will boost their prospects of getting a new job.
Today’s package aims to give people confidence that if they lose their jobs, there will be real help available so they can improve their skills or gain new ones so that they are fit for the jobs of the future.
The Government’s primary aim is to keep the time people spend out of work keep to a minimum while making the return to work a stepping stone to a more skilled future. This will ensure that a period of unemployment can be an opportunity for people to gain the skills they will need to get on in work in the future, and take advantage of likely expansion areas as the economy improves.
The Government is initially offering 75,000 new training places in colleges and other training providers for job-seekers who reach the 6 month point on Job Seekers Allowance.
This will be flexible, job-focused training to equip them with economically valuable skills, helping them to secure new employment. It will be supported by a training allowance to enable a period of full-time training where that is needed.
The new training support for unemployed people will have the following key features:
- Training programmes while participants are unemployed will be employment-focused, offering a range of opportunities to gain skills. Building on previous announcements, we will be offering both programmes to prepare for job entry, and more specific training in new skills that equip people for new jobs.
- Colleges and other training providers will offer flexible courses that will not conflict with availability for work or delay entry to the job market. So people who enrol on training courses will not be put in the position of having to choose between a job or completing their training. They will be able to combine the training with active job search, take a new job as soon as they are able to find one, and, with their new employer’s agreement, be supported to complete the training part-time in work after they have started their new job.
- Colleges and training providers will have incentives to use the work-based Train to Gain programme, to support those who gain new jobs to pursue further progression towards accredited qualifications of known value in the labour market. Qualifying providers will demonstrate strong links through to Train to Gain thereby ensuring a seamless journey for the individual and real value for the employer.
- Payments to colleges and training providers will relate to the training delivered, but with a clear performance objective to help customers gain sustainable employment. We want providers to have incentives to get customers back into work as quickly as possible, testing a combination of rewards that ensures providers aim for sustainable employment and completion of training, in line with our integrated welfare and skills approach. This is an important part of our wider approach to focussing further education on flexible delivery of training that has real economic value for learners and employers.
The Learning and Skills Council, Jobcentre Plus, Regional Development Agencies and Sector Skills Councils are working together in each region and nationally to identify where recruitment levels remain stronger, and where, even in the downturn, there remain job vacancies and skills shortages. Using that intelligence, they will work closely together to deliver the joint regional response we have previously announced. This is part of the transformation of the Further Education sector with a stronger focus on employment outcomes and delivering the productivity-enhancing provision that employers seek.
Research shows that the best way of helping people gain sustainable employment is through a support package that combines active search for a new job with effective work-related training. It is vital that this training helps people quickly back into sustainable employment and does not detach them from the labour market, while also enabling people to gain skills that have real value for employers.
‘‘Notes to editors’’
The Government has already announced £158million in additional skills funding to help those affected by redundancy, boosting the provision of shorter training programmes focussed on preparing for job-entry. Building on that, this additional targeted activity for people at the 6 month gateway will broaden the support available, bringing the total number of new training places to over 100,000.
Through the Learning and Skills Council, we will invite colleges and training providers to put forward proposals for offering the additional places, on the conditions described above, up to an initial total of 75,000 new places. Additional funding of £83million will be allocated for those places. We will be looking particularly to work with colleges and training providers that are already successfully working with employers, and who demonstrate the greatest flexibility and responsiveness in helping participants boost their prospects of sustainable employment.
Today’s announcement has been announced jointly with the Department for Work and Pensions at a Job Summit hosted by the Prime Minister at the Science Museum in London.