Last week at Prime Minister’s Questions Lucy challenged David Cameron over the failure of his Youth Contract. The scheme is meant to reduce unemployment for the under 25’s, but the Government’s own Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission has described it as a failure.
Minsters claimed that the Youth Contract would provide temporary work placements for 150,000 young people. However, in its first year only 20,000 people took up places and just 2,070 of these completed the full 26 week placement. This compares with Labour’s Future Job Fund, which provided 6 month work placements for 105,000 young people and resulted in a net benefit to society of £7,750 per participant.
With youth unemployment now standing at almost one million urgent action is needed to open up new opportunities for young people and to help them into employment. That’s why Labour is now proposing a new Compulsory Jobs Guarantee for the long-term unemployed. Under the guarantee any young person under 25 who has been unemployed for more than a year will be offered a real job with real training.
“With youth unemployment standing at nearly one million, it’s clear that the Government’s Youth Contract is not working and that thousands are paying the price for this failed scheme.
“Labour’s Jobs Guarantee would make a real difference to the lives of young people in Manchester Central by helping them to get off benefits and into work. Unlike the Government’s failed approach, we would provide genuine job opportunities for young people, while cutting unemployment and reducing the welfare bill. I hope Ministers will follow Labour’s lead and take action now.”