The Government’s new work experience program certainly has caused a stir these last few weeks. Their plan is to get as many 16-24 year olds working – for free – for a period of 2-8 weeks with major employers. People eligible are those that have been on Jobseekers for over 3 months but less than nine. There are many critics of this scheme, likening it to forced labour. Some major employers have pulled out of the scheme, such as Argos and Superdrug.

The question is, would you take on a young person, spend money on training them only for them to leave a few weeks later not wanting a position with you if they didn’t like it, or would you prefer to take someone on with experience in your line of work?

There are many risks for companies taking young people on. They may take on someone who really doesn’t have the motivation for work, but is on the scheme to make sure they still receive their benefits. They have to spend time training that young person up, which usually means pulling out a more experienced member of staff to do so. This process isn’t going to be that productive in the beginning. The plus side however is that if that person does become interested in that job, the company can always take them on if there is a position open for them.

Would the larger companies in our industry who have the employing power be interested in this sort of scheme, or would they prefer to take on staff which already have experience in the double glazing sector? I’d like to get some of the big boys to comment on this one as the subject is a hotly debated one on the news and will affect the 1million+ young people out of work or education.