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Youth Contract not enough to address youth unemployment - Turn2us

Parliament UK website information on the Youth Contract report (link opens in a new window)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 unrealistic."

Positive aspects

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 apprenticeships.

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

Sources: 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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