ANZIO Digital 1billion To Tackle Youth Unemployment

by Patricia Montgomery, LincsMag Writer.
Date: 12 January 2012

1billion To Tackle Youth Unemployment - Lincolnshire Magazine -

Almost £1billion it is claimed, will be spent over the next three years to provide unemployed young people with extra help as part of a new "Youth Contract".

The Youth Contract will provide nearly half-a-million new opportunities for young people, including apprenticeships and work experience placements. It is meant to also marks a substantial increase in the support and help available to young people through the Work Programme, Jobcentre Plus and Sector-Based Work Academies.

Key Measures

* Cash payments to encourage employers to recruit young people.

* There will be 160,000 job subsidies available worth up to £2,275 each for businesses who take on an 18-24 year-old from the Work Programme. This is intended to be enough to cover an employer’s National Insurance contributions for a year and exceeds the recommendations by the CBI in their recent report on youth employment.

* An extra 250,000 Work Experience places over the next three years, taking the total to at least 100,000 a year. This will come with an offer of a Work Experience place for every 18 to 24 year-old who wants one, before they enter the Work Programme. Figures show that the Work Experience scheme is proving effective, with half of under-25 year-olds coming off benefits within three months.

* At least 20,000 extra incentive payments worth £1500 each for employers to take on young people as apprentices, taking the total number of payments available to 40,000 next year.

* Extra support through Jobcentre Plus in the form of weekly, rather than fortnightly, signing-on meetings, more time to talk to an adviser and a National Careers Service interview.

These measures try to differ from previous schemes over the last decade, as they are focused on equipping young people with the skills and opportunities to gain long-term sustainable employment in the private sector.

Earning or Learning

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "The aim of the Youth Contract is to get every unemployed young person earning or learning again before long term damage is done. This is a £1bn package and what’s different about it, is it gets young people into proper, lasting jobs in the private sector. But it’s a contract, a two-way street: if you sign up for the job, they’ll be no signing on for the dole. You have to stick with it."

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: "We are absolutely committed to making a difference to the life chances of young people. We are expanding what works and delivering that as a priority. It demonstrates how government and business can work together to put young people on the path to employment and a self reliant future."

£150m programme

The Government also announced a new £150m programme to provide support to some of our most vulnerable 16-17 year olds NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) from 2012. This will provide vital support to help them to get back into education, an apprenticeship or a job with training.

The total amount of money available for the new initiatives is said to be almost £1 billion, which is in addition to existing funding for employment services.

Skills Minister John Hayes said: "By reviving apprenticeships, the Government is enabling thousands of young people build successful careers, and helping put businesses on a footing to grow and create new, sustainable employment. We'll continue to work with employers so that more training opportunities are created, and ambition and enterprise are recognised and rewarded."

And the CBI Director-General John Cridland added, "This is good news for young people up and down the country. We're pleased that the Government has developed our idea to incentivise businesses to take on the young unemployed. It will encourage firms to take a gamble on a young inexperienced person and help tackle the scourge of youth unemployment."

It remains to be seen if this is all talk and hype and that genuine help is being given to the youth of this country, especially in rural areas such as Lincolnshire. These incentives and places should be for our youths and not taken by immigrants who have had a devastating effect already on our unemployment figures.

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