PM Training helps young people, mainly without formal qualifications to train, follow apprenticeship schemes and find jobs. The organisation delivers a range of services to paying customers, through projects which offer opportunities to the young people, such as home or public realm improvements. The business has supported thousands of people into jobs, delivering social and economic value in Stoke and beyond. PM Training was acquired in 2008 by the Aspire Group, which has itself evolved from a housing association, and brings together a number of social enterprises in a group structure. The business is thriving, while conscious of future challenges, particularly around ongoing changes to national government policy which may impact on its business model.
Youth unemployment in the UK is at historically high levels and shows little sign of falling significantly. In November 2011 youth unemployment reached over 1 million young people with many commentators fearing the prospect of "lost generation”. Periods of unemployment among young people are more likely to lead to longer periods of economic inactivity, with a negative consequence for individuals, families, community and the exchequer.
Stoke-on-Trent has suffered from a range of social, environmental and economic problems, linked in part to the closure of a number of the city’s key industries. In line with the national picture, manufacturing has reduced over several decades. Youth unemployment remains a significant issue with several areas in Staffordshire where youth unemployment lies at a rate above the national average, such as Cannock Chase and Tamworth. At the end of 2012, 5.3% of people aged 16-18 in Staffordshire were not in employment, education or training (NEET) and 9.2% in Stoke. The 16 to 24 age group suffer disproportionately from unemployment compare to national and regional figures, again particularly in Stoke-on-Trent.