By Max Clarke

The Mayor's Fund for London is launching ‘Young London Working’, a ground-breaking initiative to help get disadvantaged young people into decent jobs. Currently 8.9 per cent Londoners are unemployed, while a fifth of 18-24 year olds in inner London are claiming Jobseekers Allowance. Young London Working will help young people from some of London’s most deprived boroughs move out of poverty and into work, increasing their life chances and aspirations.

Young London Working is a single, central employment hub that works with employment agencies to connect young people seeking work with potential employers. All participating agencies are quality assured and support young people from school right through to employment. Access to training, mock interviews, work experience, mentoring and careers advice help improve young Londoners’ employability, while clear routes into work are made available through the recruiting companies actively involved in the programme. Outsourcing company Mitie has already pledged to offer up to 2,000 jobs to young people who come through the scheme over the next three years.

Chris Robinson, Chief Executive of the Mayor's Fund for London, said: “We believe that the way out of poverty is a decent job. However, the current employment landscape is confusing for both young people seeking work and for employers who want to help. Young London Working supports young people who are unsure of where to go for quality advice, guidance and training and ultimately decent jobs. The initiative will fill the gap between employers’ skills needs and opportunities for disadvantaged young people into work and a brighter future.”

The initiative has been developed over the last 12 months by the Mayor’s Fund for London in partnership with principal sponsor Goldman Sachs International and employment and skills experts Working Links.

Ruby McGregor-Smith, Chief Executive of outsourcing company Mitie, is on the board of Young London Working: “Mitie is recruiting 2,000 young people to help increase their prospects and help us grow our business. We feel passionate about this exciting project and recognise the benefits on all sides. Young London Working meets the urgent skills needs of employers and improves the life chances of young people who want to work to further themselves.”

Keith Faulkner, Chairman of Working Links, said: "The Young London Working initiative connects existing providers, services and employers, as well as identifies the ways in which we can improve the skills and employment opportunities that are on offer to young people in London. It’s a ground-breaking initiative that we hope to roll out across other London boroughs, helping more young people than ever find employment."