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Programme seeks work for jobless young

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A £1bn programme to help young people into work has been launched by the government, with councils still pressing for a wider role at the bottom of the age range.

The Youth Contract is for unemployed people aged 16-24. It allows businesses to take them on, with wage incentives backed by government grants worth up to £2,275 each.

An extra 250,000 work experience places will be provided over the next three years.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: We’re determined to tackle youth unemployment and set young people on the path to work before long-term damage is done.”

LGA children and young people board chair David Simmonds (Con) said he met ministers last month to press for greater local authority involvement in the contract for the 16-17 year olds “going beyond their designated role to refer young people on to providers”.

He added in a briefing to the board: “I wanted to see a role for [councils] in co-commissioning this provision, which would be more reflective of their statutory duties to track and support this age group.

“The LGA and Association of Directors of Children’s Services are taking forward discussions with the Department for Education to discuss how councils can be more involved in the development of this provision over the next couple of months.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Councils could be a rich source for socially useful jobs and training if the government reversed some of its cuts and paid councils to employ instead of paying youngsters to be idle.

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