On Monday 2 April 2012, the £1bn Youth Contract will start. The Youth Contract was announced last year by Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg to tackle youth unemployment.
The Youth Contract aims to ensure that all jobless young people are earning or learning again before long-term damage is done.
In Waltham Forest, 2,570 18 to 24-year olds are currently in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance and would stand to benefit from the Youth Contract.
The Youth Contract will provide at least 410,000 new work places for 18 to 24-year olds over the next three years. This includes 160,000 wage subsidies and 250,000 new work experience placements.
A new programme will help 16 and 17-year olds who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs).
This will help the most disengaged of the 8,000 in London get back to school or college, onto an apprenticeship or into a job with training.
In addition, there will be at least 20,000 more incentive payments to encourage employers to take on young apprentices in England.
Commenting, Cllr Winnie Smith, Lib Dem Deputy Leader said:
“In these tough times Liberal Democrats are doing the right thing and fighting to ensure we help those who need it most.
“Waltham Forest has had a problem with youth unemployment for a long time and it only got worse under the last Labour government. We have to make sure that the today’s young people don’t have a false start to their careers.
“In Waltham Forest we tried to get Labour to take the issue of jobs and youth unemployment seriously in our amendment to the council’s budget in March but they ignored it.”
“The Youth Contract will help those who need it most through advice, support, training and by giving people in Waltham Forest the experience they need to be successful in the work place.
“As a Liberal Democrat, I am proud that the Coalition Government is doing the right thing and working to prevent another lost generation.”
Commenting further, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:
“Youth unemployment is a slow-burn social disaster and an economic waste.
“We can’t lose the skills and talent of our young people – right when we need them most. We need the next generation to help us build a new economy.
“The aim of the Youth Contract is to get every unemployed young person earning or learning again before long-term damage is done, giving them the skills for a lifetime of work.
“This is a £1bn package and it will get young people into proper, lasting jobs.”