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New Digital BESA Academy Praised by Youth Leader

New Digital BESA Academy Praised by Youth Leader
17 September 2020
 

Jack Parsons, CEO of The Youth Group and known as the UK’s Chief Youth Officer, has welcomed the launch of a new online training academy for the building services industry.

In a speech at the official online launch, Parsons said that the new remote learning platform created by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) could play a crucial role in helping young people gain qualifications and develop the self-confidence they need to access rewarding careers.

He also urged employers in the sector to give more young people a chance:

“We can all do something to help young people move forward, the youth unemployment figures do not look good, but there are fantastic opportunities out there and we just need to make sure young people can access them.”

Parsons urged employers to embrace the Chancellor’s £2bn Kickstart funding scheme for employers who take on apprentices and trainees as a way of addressing the growing number of 18-24-year-olds whose prospects have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

There are now 156,000 fewer people in that age bracket in employment as a result of the pandemic and over a million young people will be out of work this autumn, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.

 

“We can all do something to help young people move forward, the youth unemployment figures do not look good, but there are fantastic opportunities out there and we just need to make sure young people can access them.”

– Jack Parsons

CEO, The Youth Group

The Youth Group 

 

The Youth Group comprises an online community of 1.7 million and helps young people “make it” by giving them access to resources, qualifications and employment opportunities. It has so far helped almost 10,000 young people boost their prospects and works with educators, the government and employers.

It estimates that the cost of youth unemployment in the UK will rise to £28bn over the next decade, but Parsons said the availability of digital services like the BESA Academy meant many thousands of young people now had access to work opportunities they could never have reached in the past.

“We now need to use these tools to help our young people become great global citizens,” he told BESA chief executive David Frise. “I love your [BESA Academy] programme and I don’t say that lightly because I only get involved in things with a purpose.”

 

Filling the Gaps in Mainstream Education

 

“I used to point the finger at teachers, but now realise they are doing the best they can within the current system, which will take years and years to fix."

– Jack Parsons

CEO, The Youth Group

The academy has started delivering a comprehensive programme of training courses, assessments and CPD for individuals, employers and training providers. Individuals can access all of the resources needed to improve their existing skills and learn new ones while also keeping their qualifications and competencies up to date.

Parsons said it was an example of the kind of initiative that was needed to “fill gaps” left by mainstream education, but added that it was not teachers fault that schools kept letting young people down.

“I used to point the finger at teachers, but now realise they are doing the best they can within the current system, which will take years and years to fix. We need to focus on the creative things we can do now like your academy, increase mentoring and the like.”

He also called for the world’s major digital equipment manufacturers and internet providers to do more to address IT poverty, which leaves many young people without the equipment and broadband support they need to benefit from online learning or to work from home.

To mark the launch of the Academy, BESA is offering a special discounted rate for its new Health & Safety Environment course to anyone who registered and attended the online launch event. 

Picture: A photograph of Jack Parsons

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 17 September 2020

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