A WORRIED employee fears for the future of young people in Essex after being told a council’s careers department is being downsized.

People working at Essex County Council’s employment and skills department have been told their team is being reduced from 24 people to four and those who want to stay will have to re-apply for their jobs.

Part of their role is to help young people who are out of work or training to gain apprenticeships, accredited volunteering opportunities, jobs or college courses.

But one employee, who asked not to be named, said he feared the cuts would see people slip through the net.

He said: “There is a whole team of people being let go and nobody seems to be aware of it - once a service is lost, it is gone forever.”

The authority will have to plug a £100million funding gap by 2021.

The council no longer has to provide career advice, which is now the responsibility of secondary schools.

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “It’s no secret every local authority is facing financial pressures and it is vital we adapt our approach to delivering services.

"The process has been carried out in phases and is not unique to people working in employment and skills.”