With the economy growing, the number of people in a job rose 283,000 in just the last three months – that’s the largest quarterly rise since records began in 1971.
This means there are a record 30.43m people now in work and the unemployment rate has fallen again to a new five-year low.
Youth unemployment, excluding those in full-time education, is also now at its lowest level since 2008.
We are also seeing business confidence growing, with employers up and down the country hiring again, and who tell us there are jobs out there.
Each and every person who has made a new start or hired someone new is helping make Britain a more prosperous and confident place to be — and as Employment Minister I am committed to making sure everyone has the opportunity to share in the recovery.
With vacancies growing we need to ensure people have the skills and experience that employers are looking for as they expand and take on more staff.
That is why through our network of Jobcentres we have already made more than half a million referrals for training.
Using the expertise of colleges and other private providers we are helping people with things like basic skills and occupational training to ensure they get the skills they need to compete in today’s job market.
We have hugely increased the amount of work experience and employer-led work academies
And almost 150,000 of those referrals were for young people, which is a major priority of mine.
Only through working together — Jobcentres, employers, local authorities, charities, colleges and independent learning providers — will we continue to equip young people to successfully move from education into the world of work.
That is why we have hugely increased the amount of work experience and employer-led work academies available to ensure young people have the right skills for modern workplaces.
We have also been working closely with my colleagues in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to introduce traineeships to help young people aged 16 to 23 develop the skills and vital experience they need to secure apprenticeships and other sustainable jobs.
More than 500 training organisations have indicated that they would deliver traineeships in 2013/14 with many employers already on board.
New approaches such as Social Impact Bonds, including the successful Innovation Fund and the upcoming Youth Engagement Fund, provide an innovative new way to engage, among others, charities, communities and business to fund solutions to complex social problems.
The Think Forward programme is one of ten social impact bonds around the country to be funded through the Innovation Fund. Think Forward is delivered by charity Tomorrow’s People who have placed ten highly trained coaches in East London schools where they identify and support 14 to 16-year-olds at risk of becoming not in education, employment or training.
We are also looking at new ways tohelp young people not in education, employment or training through Jobcentre Plus, in partnership with local
Our trained work coaches will help young people navigate the wide array of services on offer and tap into local employment and training opportunities. Jobcentre work coaches have a huge amount of expertise, experience and local labour market knowledge, and we want to use that to help young people get their foot in the door to the career they want.
So as the economy continues to grow and businesses continue to take on more staff, we will do everything we can to ensure people — especially young people — are best equipped to take advantage of the recovery.
The annual conference of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers takes place on Monday, June 2 and on Tuesday at Hammersmith’s Novotel London West.
Among the scheduled speakers on day one is Employment Minister Esther McVey, and on day two is Shadow Skills Minister Liam Byrne.