With more than 33,000 people currently out of work across Lancashire, many youngsters are desperate to try to get on the job ladder.
But today it emerged Lancashire County Council is offering an “incentive” for young people to attend a special help session – by offering them the chance to win an iPod mp3 player.
The council’s Young People’s Service is holding a ‘New Year, New Start’ event in Leyland on Wednesday for 16-19 year-olds, particularly those not in education, employment or training.
The idea is for them to talk to advisers, browse stalls and find out about careers, helping them get a foot on the job ladder.
But the authority is also promising anyone who attend the session, at the YPS Info Centre in West Paddock, the chance to win an iPod in a free prize draw.
Council leader Geoff Driver today defended the move, saying many young people have been so disheartened by the current situation, they may need some incentive to come along.
He said: “It is the sort of thing we need to do.
“The sad thing is a good number of these young people have not been in employment, education or training for some time and there could be an understandable reluctance on their part to get involved.
“Occasionally, you need some sort of incentive to get them there.”
The council has been given a £3.5m grant to help people into employment or education.
“You read about it all the time,” added Coun Driver. “People apply for a job and they don’t even got notified that they have not got it.”
Representatives from colleges and trainers will be at the session on Wednesday.
County Coun Mark Perks, cabinet member for young people, said: “Our YPS staff are experienced at dealing with young people who either feel baffled by the options or simply have no idea what they want to do.”