Friday, 25 November 2011

Tackling Youth Unemployment

Regular readers will know I am passionate about tackling Youth Unemployment, it is a very important issue for his here in the North East.

I therefore welcome today's news of a £1 billion scheme designed to get more than 400,000 young people into work.

Speaking on the fund Mr Clegg quite rightly said this Government would not allow a “generation to fall behind” and “bear the brunt” of the recession. “Youth unemployment is an economic waste and a slow-burn social disaster,” he said. “We can’t lose the skills and talent of our young people, right when we need them most. We can’t afford to leave our young men and women on the scrap heap. We need the next generation to help us build a new economy.

The fund is a big improvement from Labour's future job's fund as the money will used to sponsor private businesses which take on unemployed youngsters rather than just creating jobs for them in the public sector like the future jobs fund did.

John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, said: “This is good news for young people up and down the country. We’re pleased that the Government has developed our idea to incentivise businesses to take on the young unemployed. It will encourage firms to take a gamble on a young inexperienced person and help tackle the scourge of youth unemployment.”

How will it work?

Under the Youth Contract Scheme, 160,000 young workers aged between 18 and 24 will have half their wages paid for the first six months. The scheme will only pay half the minimum wage – worth £2,275 – to employers who will then make up the difference. Another 250,000 young people will be offered work experience, lasting up to eight weeks, during which they will continue to receive benefits. Money will also be paid to firms taking on another 20,000 apprentices.