Speaking at an event for employers as part of Backing Young Britain, she emphasized the contribution that young people can make to an organization and urged employers to make the most of help on offer.
 
She reminded employers that there is still time to bid for funding from the FJF – successful bidders receive wage subsidies to create new posts, which could help them fill skills gaps or provide extra support during the recession.
 
FJF is an important element promoted by Backing Young Britain, which brings Government, business and other organisations together to create new opportunities for young people during the recession. It is supported by more than 290 major organizations such as Microsoft, Pfizer and Phones4U.
It shows the ways in which employers can give young people their first breaks by providing work experience opportunities, offering internships, work trials, supplying apprenticeship opportunities, offering jobs using the Future Jobs Fund, or engaging in a Local Employment Partnership.
The Minister stressed that these opportunities don’t just help the young person start out they are good for business: work experience is a chance to talent-spot, undertake a project or gain insight into target markets, while taking on young people can address skills gaps, and give access to a range of Government support.
The Minister also drew attention to the assistance and advice available to businesses, not only from Government, but also from organizations like Business Link, the Learning & Skills Council, National Apprenticeship Service and Jobcentre Plus, all of whom were at the event to discuss opportunities for the employers who attended.
 
Tessa Jowell said: We are helping and supporting Londons businesses not just to survive the recession, but to come out of it strong, and ready for the challenges ahead.
 
Times are also hard for young people looking for their first jobs. They are the future of our workforce and its essential that organizations back young Britain by helping young Londoners into work and developing their skills. More than 1000 jobs for young people were announced today, and I urge employers to bid for funding to create more.
 
Vic Grimes, Regional Director for the National Apprenticeship Service in London said:
 
There are definite business advantages for companies in London that take on young people as part of their workforce, with one in five employers hiring apprentices to help their organization through the recession.
 
Apprenticeships offer a route to harness fresh new talent and they can help organizations develop the specialist skills needed to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices. Research has also shown that 80 per cent of employers agree that apprentices make their workplace more productive.