Nick Clegg to offer ‘neet’ solution for unemployed 16- and 17-year-olds
£126m scheme seeks to encourage employers to take on young people not in education, employment or training
Article from the Guardian……
Nick Clegg will vow to deal with the “ticking time bomb” of teenagers who are not in work, school or training.
The deputy prime minister is due to announce on Tuesday a £126m scheme to get 16- and 17-year-olds back into employment or education.
The initiative, which is part of the government’s youth contract scheme, announced last November in a bid to tackle youth unemployment, charities and businesses will be invited to bid for contracts worth up to £2,200 to take young people on.
They will receive an initial payment up front, and more money when the youngsters show progress.
At least 55,000 “neets” – those not in education, employment or training and who have no GCSEs at grades C or above – are expected to benefit.
Clegg said: “Sitting at home with nothing to do when you’re so young can knock the stuffing out of you for years. It is a tragedy for the young people involved – a ticking time bomb for the economy and our society as a whole.
“This problem isn’t new, but in the current economic climate we urgently need to step up efforts to ensure some of our most troubled teenagers have the skills, confidence and opportunities to succeed.”
This group of teenagers has been singled out because evidence suggests that unemployment early on can have a permanent effect on earning potential.
By 42, someone who has been frequently unemployed as a teenager is likely to earn up to 15% less than their peers, the Department for Education said.
The announcement comes less than a week after the latest unemployment figures showed that the numbers of 16- to 24-year-olds not in work increased by 22,000 to 1.04 million in the three months to December.
Figures for the third quarter of last year, showed that more than a million 16- to 24-year-olds (1,163,000 – almost one in five) were considered neets.