Government must streamline business support to tackle youth unemployment

In April the Government announced a £1billion Youth Contract to help young unemployed people get a job. The Youth Contract aims to provide nearly half-a-million new opportunities for 18-24 year olds, including apprenticeships and voluntary work experience placements.

It also marks a substantial increase in the support and help available to young people through the Work Programme, Jobcentre Plus and sector-based work academies.

The programme has ben designed so that is also helps benefit small businesses. By supporting the Youth Contract businesses can benefit from the following incentives.

  • wage incentives
  • work experience
  • sector-based work academies
  • Apprenticeship Wage Incentives (in England)
  • Apprenticeships
  • Additional support for disengaged 16 to 17 year olds

Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said: “The Youth Contract, especially the wage subsidy the CBI called for, is crucial to giving young people that extra leg-up in a tough labour market.

“But on its own, the Youth Contract won’t be enough to solve the unemployment crisis among young people, as this report highlights. To provide jobs for our young people long-term, we need fundamental reforms of the welfare and education systems, alongside economic growth.

“In England alone, there are 47 initiatives aimed at incentivising firms to hire and train young unemployed people, but firms tell us the sheer complexity of the system is off-putting. Rather than more new initiatives, what businesses need is a streamlined system that is easy to access.”