LETTER :The `tough' approach to youth unemployment

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From Mr Don Macdonald

Sir: You are right to support Labour's proposals to cope with youth unemployment. The proposals are similar to the Community Programme from the Eighties, which was real job creation, with unreasonable pay levels, not necessarily at full rates, but high enough to attract both the participants themselves, the agencies in which they worked and the training agents, all of whose participation is essential.

The proposed subsidy to private sector employers can also be a very useful boost for employment for the under-25s, particularly if training is provided and the lessons from those Workstart pilots that were successful are assimilated.

There is great benefit also in sorting out the small but annoying inter- departmental restrictions, such as the 16-hour rule, by which Employment Service staff discourage young people from following training courses, as they are not available for work, while other government-funded agencies try to encourage the same young people to join in training.

Yours sincerely,

Don Macdonald

Chief Executive

Foyer Federation for Youth

London, E1

10 November