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 will support businesses to get young people earning or learning. Anyone out of work and aged between 16-24 will be able to benefit.
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.
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.