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One billion to tackle youth unemployment

Authors: Lizzie Crowley Lizzie Crowley

25 November 2011

1 Billion to tackle youth unemployment

As youth unemployment hits a record high the government today has announced a welcome package of support to help get young people into work or training.  Over the next three years the Youth Contract aims to provide jobs and training for at least 410,000 18-24 year olds. The Youth Contract, which will be available from April 2012 contains the following elements:


  • Wage subsidies to private sector employers of £2,275 to incentivise them to take on a young unemployed person;
  • Work experience placements of up to eight weeks for every young unemployed person who wants one;
  • Extra support from Jobcentre Plus, such as more advisor time and careers advice;
  • More funding to support the growth in 20,000 apprenticeships; and, 
  • A £50 million programme to provide intensive support for persistently NEET 16-17 year olds.

These are much needed measures to improve the employment prospects of young people.  However, it should be noted that they are just short term measures. What we really need from government, if we are going get more young people into work, is a credible plan for growth. We need to focus on long term investment in science, technology, innovation and infrastructure. We need to increase business confidence so that they start to invest and recruit again and consumer confidence so that people start spending again.

This is something that we will be looking at more closely in future in our youth unemployment consortium The Missing Million.