Autumn Statement - Relief for young unemployed

Job queue

A new youth contract worth nearly £1 billion will offer support to all young people out of work, George Osborne said today.

The new package promises to offer work experience placements to every young person if they're been unemployed for more than three months.

The government will commit £940 million towards the contract and an extra £50 million to support school leavers who are not in employment, education or training.

These measures will attempt to tackle growing youth unemployment, which is now running at more than one million people.

Along with work experience places, there will be 160,000 wage incentives of £2,275 available for private sector employers to subsidise the costs of taking on a young person.

The government will also fund an additional 250,000 placements with private employers.

Funding will be provided to allow small firms to take on 40,000 new apprentices and extra support from Jobcentre Plus will be available for unemployed 18-24-year-olds. This will include more time with an adviser and a careers interview after three months on Jobseekers Allowance.

John Cridland, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, says: "The Youth Contract is excellent news for young people across the country.

"The government has developed our idea to incentivise businesses to take on the young unemployed. This will encourage firms to take a chance on inexperienced young people and help tackle the scourge of youth unemployment."

Although this is good news for young people, Osborne warned that there will be penalties for those who don't sign up to the new contract.

He said: "They will be considered for ‘Mandatory Work Activity' and those that drop out without good reason will lose their benefits."