BOLTON College deputy principal Mark Burgoyne praised the council’s efforts to improve youth employment but said that there are ‘absolutely not enough’ opportunities in the borough.

The further education college in Deane Road emphasises the importance of work experience but Mr Burgoyne said that too many providers are competing to get placements for their learners.

He said: “The emphasis that we have now with a great number of our learners is to support them in their progress to further learning but also employment and employability.

“In all education establishments, now there is a further requirement to support our learners with not just work experience but with moving our learners to work placements.

“Many of them get additional work out of this. Much of this is gearing them up to be work ready.”

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Out of the college’s 2,100 learners, 85 per cent are in work experience or a work placement, but Mr Burgoyne said that this is down to them trying “extremely hard” to get a good employer basis.

He said: “All the providers are looking for thousands and thousands of work placements. If you were to ask a massive employer, you would find they are getting fed up because organisations are banging on their doors asking for work placements.”

Bolton College engage with Aldi, Keoghs, Bolton Hospital Trust, Whistle and Amazon.

Mr Burgoyne said the college has a great relationship with the council which resulted in getting 41 learners employed at the Amazon fulfilment centre at Logistics North but said that they could take as much assistance as possible.

He suggested that the council should create opportunities for young people in the town during the planning process by encouraging companies coming to Bolton to create jobs and take on apprentices.

Despite much of the work experience being unpaid, Mr Burgoyne said that it is key for youth employability.

He said: “The main aim of this is not to provide them with a job at the end of it. It’s to make them more work ready. More aware of the needs of work. The big plus is that some get jobs. Some do really well.”