A DAD whose teenage son was killed almost 29 years ago on a government-backed training scheme is to raise his concerns about new work placements with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
Richard Cain, who lives in Lodge Moor, in Mr Clegg’s Hallam constituency, wants the Government to ensure companies offering placements ensure youngsters’ safety is top priority.
His son Derek died on December 20 1982 in an accident at a recycling plant where he was on a Youth Opportunities Programme placement.
Mr Cain has highlighted how there were numerous deaths involving trainees on placements with the YOP and its successor, the Youth Training Scheme.
“In one period, there were 14 deaths across the country in 18 months,” Mr Cain said.
He plans to write to Mr Clegg about the planned £1 billion Youth Contracts scheme, through which the Government will pay employers to create training placements.
He said: “It sounds a similar scheme to the ones run in the 1980s and early 1990s.
“There need to be safeguards built into the system to protect young people.
“The Government should arrange for inspections to be carried out of employers who offer these placements to make sure that they are treating young people properly with regard to safety.”
Mr Cain added that 20 to 30 years ago, there were ‘problems particularly at smaller companies’ which he discovered while campaigning on the issue for Sheffield Trades Council after his son’s death.
Mr Clegg has pledged to create ‘hundreds of thousands’ of placements for young people across the country in the face of record youth unemployment. Companies will be offered a subsidy by the Government for each placement.
The aim is to improve the career prospects of 16 to 24 year-olds.