But rebellious Labour MPs will now be aware that single parents with 16- and 17-year-olds could make up some of the benefit cut by persuading their children to stay in education and training.
Mr Blunkett described the 200,000 16- and 17-year-olds who leave school either for the dole or dead-end jobs as "the overlooked generation". He was speaking at the start of a government campaign to stop children dropping out of education.
He said: "Many families don't seem to be aware that if youngsters are not in a job or in education, they are losing out to the tune of up to pounds 40 a week in benefit to which they are entitled for that dependent child."
Mr Blunkett outlined a number of policies either planned or already in place to stop young people dropping out of education. Around 80,000 16- and 17-year-olds are out of work and a further 120,000 are in low-paid jobs in which they receive no training.
The Teaching and Higher Education Bill at present before Parliament gives young people the right to one day's paid study leave a week to improve their qualifications.
Ministers are also introducing a new single school leaving date for 16- year-olds at the end of June, to make sure that no pupil leaves before they they have had a chance to sit GCSE exams. At present 50,000 pupils leave schools without a single GCSE. There will be a new "Learning Card", spelling out young people's entitlement to education post-16.
The careers service will be asked to target those most likely to drop out and there will be another pounds 10m to fund modern apprenticeships.Reuse content