Published: 25th Nov 2011

The coalition government today responded to calls to address the rising issue of youth unemployment with the announcement of a ‘youth contract’ scheme. The ‘youth contract’ is a £1bn initiative seeking to generate 160,000 six-month job opportunities for 18 to 24 year olds, over the next three years. It will provide wage subsides of over £2,200 for private sector employers to encourage them to recruit young people. Opportunities will be offered to young people who are most in need after three months on Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and then all claimants after nine months – via the Work Programme providers. My initial response to the ‘youth contract’ was that it represents a reinvention of the Labour government’s Future Jobs Fund (FJF), and is therefore major U-turn for the coalition government. In many respects it is, but there are some key differences. The ‘youth contract’ is specifically focused on private sector jobs, … (To read the full article, subscribe below)