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Nick Clegg launches 'Youth Contract' to get 18-24 year olds into work or training

25 November 2011

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has outlined a £1 billion pound 'Youth Contract' to tackle youth unemployment. The aim is to ensure that all jobless young people are earning or learning again before long term damage is done. Over three years, the Youth Contract will provide at least 410,000 new work places for 18 to 24 year olds, and includes 160,000 wage subsidies and 250,000 new work experience placements.

There will be at least 20,000 more incentive payments to encourage employers to take on young apprentices. And there will be a new programme to help the most disengaged 16 and 17 year olds - getting them back to school or college, onto an apprenticeship or into a job with training.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the £1bn package is different in that it gets young people into proper, lasting jobs in the private sector. “But it’s a contract, a two-way street: if you sign up for the job, they’ll be no signing on for the dole. You have to stick with it.

"Youth unemployment is an economic waste and a slow-burn social disaster. 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.
“If people are out of work when they’re young they bear the scars for decades. If they have a false start, they might not ever fully catch up. These are tomorrow’s mothers, fathers and tax-payers. If they end up falling behind our whole society pays the price.It hasn’t been easy to find £1bn but it is the right thing to do.
“Despite the huge pressures on the public purse we’re pulling out all the stops. But young people have to meet us halfway. If you break your side of the bargain, don’t just expect to live your life on benefits.”

John Cridland, CBI director-general, said it was 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."

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