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1b Youth Contract

Following Nick Clegg's announcement yesterday, Ian Duncan Smith has now formally announced details of the Youth Contract offering nearly £1b of new money to be invested in helping 16-24 year olds into work.  Click here for the official statement.

In addition to the subsidised apprenticeships announced by Vince Cable last week, the Youth Contract funding announced

  • an extra 20,000 of £1500 incentive payments for employers to take on young apprentices (£30m)
  • 160,000 wage incentives of £2,275 for employing an 18-24 year old (total cost £364m).
  • an additional 250,000 work experience places for 18-24 year olds (pre Work Programme).
  • extra support from JCP advisers and support from the National Careers Service.
  • a new programme for the most vulnerable NEET 16 and 17 year olds to get them learning, on an apprenticeship or in a job with training (£150m)

The wage subsidy will be available as part of the Work Programme.  

This package is good news for young people but there are a couple of concerns.

Work experience placements have recently come in for much criticism with employers such as Asda and Tesco being accused of using "slave labour" in place of paid employment.  In order to create an additional 250,000 work experience placements it is likely that big business will come in for even more stick. 

There has also been criticism of the fact that young people weren't aware of the sanctions that could apply if they prematurely ended work experience.  This has now been made clear with the ministerial statement advising that those that drop out of a work experience place or a subsidised (or other) job without good reason will lose their benefits.

And while Nick Clegg feels that this package is "on a scale that I don’t think we’ve seen in this country for a very long time", it is alarmingly close to something we all knew as the Young Person's Guarantee!


25 November 2011

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