The 1,000 Club aims to make it easier for employers and young people to team up to better suit each other needs. This could include work experience, graduate internships, apprenticeships and jobs – full or part-time.
Council Leader Tudor Evans appealed to those present to become ambassadors for the club and spread the message to get 1,000 companies to sign up.
He said: “It is vital that we support those who are just a whisker away from being ready to work, those that need to further refine their skills to make them more attractive to employers.
“We have been listening to what you have been saying; about the difficulties you all face no matter the size of your business. We’ve been paying particular attention to what you have told us about taking people on and how to find the right person for the job.
“We know that this is further complicated by the number of organisations vying for your attention in the recruitment field, not to mention the sheer number of schemes that exist to help people back in to work.
“We know this takes time and effort – that’s why we are starting this club. We want to make it as easy as possible for you.
“If each business takes on at least one young person through any of these schemes over this campaign – think what a life changing opportunity that would be for one young person, then times that by 1,000.”
The 1,000 Club has been set up through the Plymouth Growth Board – a partnership between business and senior public sector leaders.
Companies will be able to channel enquiries through a website and will be given straight forward advice and guidance about taking on young people.
Steve Cardew, deputy managing director of Kawasaki Precision Machinery, was himself an apprentice at the company which employs over 300 people in Plymouth.
Around 20 per cent of employees on the shop floor are apprentice-trained and the company currently has 13 apprentices. He said: “Training is tailored specifically to the needs of the company, and more importantly, there is loyalty and a high retention rate.”
The Council has made employment, skills and growth a top priority and Councillor Evans is also chairing the Plan for Jobs Task Force, which will create a range of initiatives to get people into work. This is expected to be presented to Cabinet in December.