Nick Clegg makes youth jobs pledge

 

The Deputy Prime Minister pledged today to create jobs "that are not just here today and gone tomorrow" as he launched his £1 billion flagship scheme to get young people into work.

Nick Clegg said the Youth Contract would offer a route into work for young people, creating at least 410,000 new jobs over the next three years.

On a visit to a Job Centre Plus in Poplar, east London, with Employment Minister Chris Grayling, Mr Clegg met young people who will benefit from the scheme.

After chatting to jobseekers who were receiving advice ahead of interviews for work experience in the media centre at the Olympics, Mr Clegg said unemployment could have a "scarring effect" on young people.

He said: "From today, if you are 18-24 and out of work, you can get down to a Job Centre like this because they will be able to offer you the opportunities to either earn or learn, to either take up work, which we will part subsidise, or the expanded apprentice prospects or the increasing number of work experience placements.

"What we are saying to employers is if you are wondering if you are going to take the plunge to employ a young person then we will help you make that decision by providing some money ourselves and we hope that will tip the employer in favour of the young person.

"The key thing here is that by creating the partnership between the subsidy from us, the Government, and the employer we hope that means the employer will keep that young person on beyond the six months of the subsidy so that we create jobs that are not just here today and gone tomorrow but jobs that last for young people for years into the future."

Mr Clegg spoke to some jobseekers who had been out of work since they left education.

"There are close to a million young people that are out of work that is a figure that is far too high and creates real long term scarring effects if young people are locked out of work," he said.

"Of course if the scheme works I want us to do even more of it in future because youth unemployment, in my view, is one of the biggest challenges we face as a country."

Under the Youth Contract, first announced last November, firms will be offered £2,275 "wage incentives" to take on up to 160,000 under-25s, while the scheme will also create an additional 250,000 work experience placements.

Small businesses will also be encouraged to recruit their first apprentices with an extra 20,000 incentive payments.

The supermarket chain Morrisons, together with E-on, Phones4U and Barclays have agreed to invest the wage incentives they receive in charities which train up young people who lack the skills needed for the world of work.

However Labour last night released figures showing the number of under 25-year-olds out of work has more than doubled since the start of last year when Mr Clegg reportedly first raised the issue in Cabinet.

According to the figures calculated by the independent House of Commons Library, the numbers of 18 to 24-year-olds out of work for more than six months have risen from 73,000 to 156,000 - a 114% increase.

Those out of work for 12 months or more increased from 20,000 to 49,000 - a jump of 145%.

Unemployment minister Chris Grayling denounced the figures as a "complete distortion of the truth", saying long-term youth unemployment had "barely changed" for two years.

He said: "Youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges this country faces and we're determined to make a difference to a problem that's been building up for much of the past decade.

"What we're offering through the Youth Contract is real practical support to both employers and job seekers which we hope will give young people a head start in the labour market."

John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "Business isn't just good for Britain, it's good for young people too. Companies tell me they are ready to play their part to support the next generation into work, since young people are vital to future business success.

"Yet for too many businesses, economic uncertainty has made it tough to hire more young people over recent months. Companies are concerned that many lack basic skills or past work experience. That translates into higher training costs and greater risk for employers.

"The Youth Contract will significantly reduce those risks and give employers more confidence to invest in young people. We are pleased that the Government has listened to our concerns about administration and about the need for up-front payments, particularly for smaller businesses who are keen on taking up the scheme but worried about delays. Chambers of commerce up and down the country will be promoting the placements, apprenticeships and job subsidies available under the Youth Contract - and will help more young people take their first step into the world of work.

"If the Youth Contract proves successful and popular with our employers, we will push for it to be extended even further."

Anne Marie Carrie, chief executive of children's charity Barnardo's, added: "Barnardo's is committed to being part of the solution when it comes to providing tailored, dedicated support to young people looking for work. We see our participation in the Youth Contract as vital because of our expertise in transforming the lives of those most in need.

"Young people want to earn and learn but may feel like giving up if there are insufficient opportunities for them to climb on to the first rung of the employment ladder. In today's challenging economic times, there is a real need for employers to open their doors to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged."

Jennifer Lee, director of human resources at hotel chain Jurys Inn, said the company is backing the scheme.

"Joining up to the Youth Contract scheme is just another way of demonstrating the company's commitment to creating and supporting exceptional people, and to achieving a culture that values people and their contributions to the business."

PA

Suggested Topics
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Life & Style
life
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit