The Youth Contract aims to give businesses support to create new, sustainable jobs for young people and enable them to bring in fresh talent.
Posted: 3rd April 2012
The government has announced a new scheme that will provide nearly 500,000 new opportunities for 18-24 years olds, including apprenticeships and voluntary work experience placements.
Launching the Youth Contract, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said that the government is determined to tackle youth unemployment and set “young people on the path to work before long-term damage is done”.
Measures available in the Youth Contract include:
A group of Britain’s biggest companies – including Morrison's, E-On, Phones4U and Barclays - have already signed up to the Youth Contract. An employer factsheet that provides more detailed information on it can be found here.
Clegg said the scheme represents a "major moment for Britain's unemployed young people".
He said: "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’d like to congratulate 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."
Skills minister John Hayes said: "By reviving apprenticeships, this government is helping thousands of young people discover the purposeful pride that builds successful careers, thriving firms and strong communities.
"In the past smaller firms have been deterred from hiring an apprentice due to perceived logistical, training and administrative costs but the new incentives of £1,500 are encouraging SMEs to give thousands of young people a great start to their working life."
Meanwhile, CBI director-general John Cridland has described the Youth Contract as a "great way of encouraging more businesses to take on young unemployed people up and down the country".
"Youth unemployment is a real concern, and by helping firms cover the costs of employing and training a young person, the Youth Contract should make an impact where it matters," he added.