Government must act to get more kids into work, Prince Andrew is told

Prince Andrew arrives at Isle of Dogs centre greeted by City Gateway charity's boss Eddie Stride

Prince Andrew arrives at Isle of Dogs centre greeted by City Gateway charity's boss Eddie Stride - Credit: Archant

More government action is needed to get jobless youngsters into work, Prince Andrew was told when he visited London’s deprived East End.

Prince Andrew at City Gateway's new centre

Prince Andrew at City Gateway's new centre - Credit: Archant

The Prince arrived at the Isle of Dogs to officially open City Gateway charity’s new centre helping young people get jobs.

The charity’s chief Eddy Stride showed him round the new centre in Millwall’s Mastmaker Court on Thursday.

“One-in-four youngsters are out of work,” he told the Prince. “We must continue creating apprenticeship opportunities—but the government needs to provide further incentives for employers to make this happen.”

There are 119,000 youngsters aged 16 to 24 in London who are not in education, training or employment, he pointed out.

But apprenticeships are working, the Duke of York heard. City Gateway has placed 332 young people into apprenticeships in the past 18 months, leading to most getting permanent jobs.

It impressed the Duke, who said: “I believe there has to be a local solution if we are to solve the difficult problems in this country.”

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One person the charity has helped is Shahrier Khan, who got an apprenticeship which landed him a permanent job at Standard Chartered bank in the City.

“I knew if I had the chance to get a job in IT I could do it,” Shahrier said. “I’m lucky I had people believing in me and giving me a chance.”

Farhad Chowdry suffered depression before being referred to the charity by her GP. She now has a permanent job with the NHS.

She said: “Being an apprentice helped me get back into work and has made my dreams come true.”

Those the charity takes on usually come from deprived communities, often trapped in a culture of unemployment.

The new centre runs training for 400 youngsters a year and gets 300 into apprenticeships as well as arranging work experience and running services helping families out of poverty.

City Gateway also supports 186 youngsters dealing with issues such as gang involvement, homelessness, self-harm, bereavement, pregnancy, mental health, poor family relationships, domestic violence, risk of prostitution and forced marriage.