The government has today launched the Young Person’s Guarantee, offering a job, training or work experience to young people who have been out of work for six months or more.
The scheme, part of the wider Backing Young Britain programme, is set to provide up to 470,000 extra jobs and training opportunities over the next 15 months, and up to 100,000 young unemployed people will be eligible to benefit from the package of support straight away.
The support was first announced in the 2009 Budget and was set to cover only those aged between 18 and 24 who had been out of work for 12 months or more, but in December, this time limit was reduced to cover those unemployed for six months or more.
The package of support will include the opportunity for young jobseekers to apply for new jobs created through the £1bn Future Jobs Fund, extra training and support to help young people target sectors with high levels of recruitment, a place on a community taskforce, help with self-employment, and internships.
From April 2010, young people will be required to take up one of the guarantee offers by the 10-month point of their jobseekers’ allowance claim.
Yvette Cooper, secretary of state for work and pensions, said: “We want to guarantee every young person the right support. That’s why this guarantee is starting now, as the school leavers and graduates of last summer who couldn’t find work because of the recession start to approach six months’ unemployment. It’s why it’s so important for employers and government to continue working together to back young Britain.”
To date there have been more than 104,000 successful bids to create jobs through the Future Jobs Fund over the next 15 months, and the first young people have already started work in jobs ranging from housing officers to football coaches.
In total 480,000 people, including almost 100,000 18- to 24-year-olds have been placed into jobs and work trials through Local Employment Partnership schemes, with 50,000 employers having signed up to work with Jobcentre Plus through this partnership.
The government has also launched the Careers Profession Taskforce today, led by Ruth Silver, chair of the Learning and Skills Improvement Service, which will seek to ensure skilled and motivated careers professionals give all young people high-quality advice. The taskforce will report to the government in the summer.
Three regional roadshows will also be held in February and March in Leeds, Nottingham and Manchester, to encourage dozens more employers to offer more and better work experience placements.