The Government’s work programme was showing signs of unravelling on Monday night, as it emerged that its youth contract scheme had found work for just 10 per cent of those targeted.
Aimed at tackling long-term youth unemployment, the scheme offers businesses up to £2,275 for taking on a young person who has been out of work for at least six months.
Figures released on Monday show it has only paid wage incentives for 4,690 young people since June 2012, up to the end of May 2013. This is significantly behind the target of helping 160,000 young unemployed find work over three years – which should translate to around 53,000 people a year.
Liam Byrne, the shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “The youth contract has utterly failed... no wonder there are still almost a million young people out of work.”