Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, has announced the creation of a
£1 billion Youth Contract scheme, aimed at helping young unemployed
people find work or education opportunities.
This is in response to the record levels of young people
who are 'not in education, employment or training' (NEET).
Over a three year period, from next April, the Youth Contract
will find 410,000 work places for 18-24 year olds.
The scheme will include wage subsidies worth £2,275 for
employers to take on 160,000 young people. These will be worth half
of the youth national minimum wage and last for six months. They
will help unemployed young people who need the most help after
three months and all of those who have been on Jobseeker's Allowance for nine months.
The Youth Contract will also offer a work experience
placement of up to eight weeks for every unemployed 18 to
24-year-old that wants one. Extra funding for apprenticeships and a
£50 million programme to help persistently NEET 16 and 17-year-olds
will also be provided.
Under the plans, young people who fail to sign up to the Youth
Contract will be considered for "mandatory work activity", while
those who drop out of work experience or jobs without good reason
will lose their benefits.
Source: Press Association (article no longer
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