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Nick Clegg launches Youth Contract

November 25, 2011 7:55 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The aim is to ensure that all jobless young people are earning or learning again before long term damage is done. Over three years, the Youth Contract will provide at least 410,000 new work places for 18 to 24 year olds into work.

The Youth contract includes:

  • 160,000 wage subsidies and 250,000 new work experience placements.
  • There will be at least 20,000 more incentive payments to encourage employers to take on young apprentices.
  • And there will be a new programme to help the most disengaged 16 and 17 year olds - getting them back to school or college, onto an apprenticeship or into a job with training.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

"The aim of the Youth Contract is to get every unemployed young person earning or learning again before long term damage is done.

"This is a £1bn package and what's different about it is gets young people into proper, lasting jobs in the private sector.

"But it's a contract, a two-way street: if you sign up for the job, they'll be no signing on for the dole. You have to stick with it.

"Youth unemployment is an economic waste and a slow-burn social disaster.

"We can't lose the skills and talent of our young people - right when we need them most. We can't afford to leave our young men and women on the scrap heap. We need the next generation to help us build a new economy.

"If people are out of work when they're young they bear the scars for decades. If they have a false start, they might not ever fully catch up.

"These are tomorrow's mothers, fathers and tax-payers. If they end up falling behind our whole society pays the price.

"It hasn't been easy to find £1bn but it is the right thing to do.

"We won't allow the children brought up in the boom to bear the brunt of the bust. The next generation must not pay the price for my generation's mistakes. So the Coalition Government won't sit on our hands and let a generation fall behind.

"We want to give every young person a reason to get up, a reason to go out, and a reason to feel great at the end of the day.

"Despite the huge pressures on the public purse we're pulling out all the stops. But young people have to meet us halfway. If you break your side of the bargain, don't just expect to live your life on benefits."

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