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UK government launches Youth Contract scheme
06
Apr '12
Britain's unemployed young people are being given a major boost as the Youth Contract opens for business. Nearly half a million young people are set to benefit as £1 billion becomes available to get them into new jobs or training.

The Youth Contract, launched by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Minister for Employment Chris Grayling, supports businesses to get young people earning or learning. The Government is determined to tackle youth unemployment and those out of work aged between 16-24 are urged to go to their Job Centres today to ask about the opportunities available to them.

From now:

• Businesses can now take on under 25s, with 160,000 wage incentives worth up to £2,275. This process has been made simple for businesses and the amount is more than enough to cover an employer's National Insurance contributions for employing a young person for a year.

• An extra 250,000 work experience places will be provided over the next three years. Every 18 to 24 year-old Jobseekers Allowance claimant who wants one will now be able to take up a placement before receiving more intensive support offered through the Work Programme.

• An extra 20,000 incentive payments will become available to encourage smaller businesses to recruit their first apprentices and, from the summer, there will be extra support for the most disengaged 16 and 17-year-olds in England.

• Extra resource will also allow advisers based in each of the 741 Jobcentre Plus offices to spend more time working with young people and provide a National Careers Service interview.

Britain's biggest businesses are crucial in tackling the shared goal of getting young people into work and training.

It is being announced that some of Britain's biggest companies, spearheaded by Morrisons, are signing up to the Youth Contract to get 50,000 unskilled young people into work over the next three years. The 16-24 Alliance has the ambition of dramatically bringing down youth unemployment. The Alliance includes Morrisons, E-On, Phones4U and Barclays.

One way that companies from the Alliance can help is by taking on unemployed young people through the Youth Contract wage incentive. But instead of banking the money, the funding will allow companies to invest in specialist charities to train up and support young people who lack the skills for the world of work.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

“We're determined to tackle youth unemployment and set young people on the path to work before long-term damage is done.”

“Today is a major moment for Britain's unemployed young people. The message is clear – if you're under 25 and don't have a job, we are putting the money in to get you earning or learning through the Youth Contract. If you want to work or train, then we – together with businesses – will help you.

“Big business has a huge role to play in getting young people into work and I'dlike to congratulate companies from the 16-24 Alliance for committing to using money from the Youth Contract to help the young people who need it most to join the world of work.”

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