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The Youth Contract (link opens
in a new window) is not enough to address the current high
level of youth unemployment, according to the Work
and Pensions Select Committee.
In a report,
Youth unemployment and the Youth Contract (link opens in a new
window), published on 19 September, the Committee of MPs
says that the scheme is 'welcome as a set of measures aimed at
easing the labour market disadvantage felt by a significant
proportion of young people'.
However, Committee Chair Dame Anne Begg warns that, on its
own, the scheme will not be enough to address the current
unacceptably high level of youth unemployment.
She said "The Youth Contract is welcome but on its own it will
not be enough to address the current unacceptably high level of
youth unemployment. Young people need effective support from
Government to counteract the disadvantage they have long suffered
in the labour market but they also need a return to economic growth
and a substantial increase in the number of new jobs.
"Some of the measures in the Youth Contract have been shown to
be effective but they will only make a significant impact if all
the targets are met. Our concern is that there is a real risk that
the Government will fall short of its more eye-catching targets. In
particular, past experience shows that 160,000 wage incentives is a
very ambitious target in the current economic climate. And 250,000
additional work experience placements for young people may also be
The report comments positively on some aspects of the design of
the Youth Contract. It builds on the types of interventions which
have been shown to have a positive impact: increased Jobcentre Plus
(JCP) adviser support; work experience placements; and
The inclusion of a new scheme for 16–17 year-olds is
welcomed as the large majority of whom do not receive support
from Jobcentre Plus as they are ineligible for Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) as is the wage
incentive focus on longer term young unemployed claimants.
Read the Turn2us Benefits and young
people information section
Parliament UK (link opens in a new window), Rightsnet (link opens in a new
window) and BBC News (link
opens in a new window)
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