Frustration over apprenticeships and the ‘vicious circle’ of youth employment

AN EASTBOURNE teenager has been left frustrated after failing to secure an apprenticeship from almost 20 construction companies.

Andrea Joslin said her 17-year-old son Nathan, who is coming to the end of a construction course at Sussex Downs College, wrote to 18 building firms just after Easter but only received four replies - all turning him down.

Andrea was advised by MP Stephen Lloyd that Nathan register with the National Apprenticeship Service, but she said he has yet to receive any information about possible avenues of opportunity or useful contacts.

She also blasted the vicious circle youngsters find themselves in, with many shops wanting to take on people with retail experience.

Andrea said, “Finding jobs for youngsters is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

“There is a constant battle of the sexes out there and it certainly seems to be easier for girls to get jobs. When my son does apply, most of it has to be done online and a huge number of sometimes irrelevant questions have to be answered.

“If you don’t have previous experience, often you can’t proceed further - but no job, no experience.

“I didn’t seem to have the same problem getting jobs. I worked in a B&B in Ceylon Place chambermaiding and assisting with breakfasts of a weekend before I got a Saturday job in Debenhams.

“While retail developments are a wonderful idea, they certainly don’t help the high street and our youngsters in getting part-time weekend jobs.”

Mrs Joslin added her son was still waiting on replies from another couple of building firms he had recently written to in his search for work.