Clegg launches £1bn Youth Contract to combat unemployment
Published in Lifestyle on 02 Apr 2012Nick Clegg has launched the Government’s £1bn Youth Contract scheme to get young people into work, offering incentives to employers.
£2,275 is available for each 18-24 year-old that an employer offers a paid position to, and will also create 250,000 work experiences places.
160,000 workers will have half their wages contributed by the Government in the first six months, with employers making up the other half.
The Deputy Prime Minister commented: “This is a really important day, because having over one million young people out of work is a real problem for the country and can have a long-term, scarring effect.
“Government itself doesn’t create jobs, but what we can do is support businesses, when they are thinking ‘should I employ a young person or not,’ we can make sure they make the right decision.”
Carmen Watson, Managing Director of Pertemps Network Group, said, “A problem that many young people face when trying to enter the job market is a lack of experience, even if they have the abilities and ambition to succeed.
“Providing opportunities for young people to gain entry into jobs will offer a new glimmer of hope for 18-24 year olds, particularly those that have been out of work for long periods of time.
“Businesses that have plans to expand now have avenues to recruit among sections of society where there is a huge amount of potential.
“As a result, they now have the support to invest in the future of the nation’s workforce and also the future of their own businesses.
“Clearly, this scheme will just be one part of the solution to joblessness but as long as the issue of youth unemployment remains a priority, we will hopefully make steady progress.
“The government says that it is determined to tackling youth unemployment. In this current climate, this determination should drive tangible results.”
Labour MP for Bishop Auckland, Helen Goodman, said: “In my constituency 16-24 year olds out of work for 12 months or more has increased by a jaw dropping 667% over the a 12 month period.
“To tackle this problem Labour’s Real Jobs Guarantee would give every young person a six month paid placement.
“Under the proposals the government would pay wages directly to businesses to cover 25 hours a week at the rate of the minimum wage.
“Unlike Nick Clegg’s Youth Contract the real jobs scheme would guarantee a job for every young person who has been unemployed for more than a year.
“Our young people are one of our greatest assets; their potential must not be allowed to go to waste.”
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