COMMONS

Government response to youth unemployment report published

20 December 2012

The Work and Pensions Committee is publishing the Government’s Response to its report on Youth Unemployment and the Youth Contract, today, Thursday 20 December at 11.00 am.

The Committee’s report, published in September, assessed the Government’s plans for tackling youth unemployment, focusing on the Youth Contract which was introduced in April 2012 [Second Report of Session 2012-13, HC 151]

The Government’s Response is published as the Third Special Report of Session 2012-13 (HC 844).  It will be available to download from the Committee’s website on the day of publication.

Commenting on the Government’s response, the Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, Dame Anne Begg MP, said:

"The Government appears to have taken on board some of the Committee’s recommendations. As our report concluded, the Youth Contract alone will not be sufficient to solve the youth unemployment problem but it must be given the best possible chance to make a significant impact. 

"We are particularly pleased that the Government has acted quickly to extend the eligibility of the employer wage incentive to all 18-24 year-olds who reach six months on unemployment benefit.  Employers across Great Britain will now be able to access wage incentives directly through Jobcentre Plus (JCP) and young people will therefore not have to wait until they have been referred to the Work Programme, which is usually not until they have been on benefit for nine months. This is in line with the Committee’s recommendation to roll-out JCP delivery of wage incentives if this proved the most cost-effective delivery method.

"We also welcome the decision to implement the Committee’s recommendation to pilot targeted regional Youth Contract marketing campaigns, which we hope will increase awareness and employer take-up.

"We accept that it is early days for the Youth Contract and welcome the Government’s apparent willingness to review progress and try out new approaches. A number of our recommendations remain under consideration while the effectiveness of the approach is evaluated. We hope the Government will act quickly to implement further changes as necessary."

Image: iStockphoto

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