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YOUTH POLL SHOWS TRAINING WORRIES

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Young people eligible for the government's planned 'new deal' jobs scheme are keen on the subsidised employment opt...
Young people eligible for the government's planned 'new deal' jobs scheme are keen on the subsidised employment option but concerned that the alternatives may be poor quality, according to government research.

Speaking at the Local Government Association's welfare to work conference, Department for Education and Employment policy officer Michael Day said focus group studies of the target 18 to 24-years-olds showed they had mixed feelings about full-time training. They viewed it as a 'return to school' and were concerned the environmental task force and voluntary sector options may be 'make-work'.

The compulsory scheme for young unemployed who have been on the dole for six months or longer gives participants four options.

'It is quite a hard job for us to make sure we can present these as quality opportunities,' Mr Day said.

It was also important to tackle barriers to employment such as social deprivation and homelessness, and to make sure all options were innovative and high quality, he said.

There were 150,000 young people eligible for the scheme, half of whom lived in 10 urban areas. But they would be followed by others becoming eligible and it was important to ensure a continuous flow of placements, Mr Day said.

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