Labour & Co-operative candidate for Redcar, Anna Turley, has today claimed that Youth Contract statistics which show just 4,690 payments have been made since the scheme began ‘must act as a wake-up call for the Coalition Government’ and called for urgent action to tackle youth unemployment.
Statistics show that the Youth Contract wage incentive scheme, which is one of Nick Clegg’s flagship policies and officially launched in June 2012, has helped just 4,600 young people find work despite a target of 160,000.
“Three years in, this Government still hasn’t got a clue how to get young people into work. They cancelled Labour’s successful Future Jobs fund, their Work Programme doesn’t work and now we find out that the Youth Contract is on course to miss its target by more than 92%. This is disastrous news for young people who are paying the price for this Government’s failure.
“These new statistics follow similar news from last week that the number of under-19s starting apprenticeships has fallen by 150 in Redcar and Cleveland. For many young people who are just leaving school or college then this is a worrying trend, so it is essential that the Government does all it can to ensure a generation does not go to waste.
“Young people in the UK spend almost two-and-a-half years out of work on average – more than double those of our competitors and over 30% than in Germany and Australia. We can learn important lessons from these countries and Labour’s Youth Jobs Taskforce report – ‘The Business Perspective’ – acknowledges this. Small businesses and government experts, who know all about local jobs on offer, are giving teenagers advice on what it takes to land a job before young people take their options and ensuring that young people leave school with a plan for their future careers.
“The Youth Contract has proved to be a wasted year. We urgently need a new plan to get young people back to work – starting with Labour’s Real Jobs Guarantee to get long-term unemployed young people into real paying jobs – ones they would be required to take.”