Tens of thousands of jobless young people will be helped to find work under Rishi Sunak’s new drive to fill labour shortages
- Many people aged 16 to 24 who claim benefits will now be eligible for support
Tens of thousands of jobless young people could be helped to find work under Rishi Sunak’s plans to get people into employment.
Many of those aged 16 to 24 who claim benefits and are not in or seeking work will now be eligible for support including coaching and preparation for interviews.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will announce an expansion of its ‘Youth Offer’ programme today as part of a package of measures to tackle ‘economic inactivity’.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt are focusing on getting more British people into jobs rather than filling labour shortages with foreign workers.
Mel Stride, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has also drawn up proposals to encourage the over-50s and the sick to return to work.
Many of those aged 16 to 24 who claim benefits and are not in or seeking work will now be eligible for support including coaching and preparation for interviews (Stock image)
Today’s announcement is part of a £3.5 billion package of measures to get more people into work which was announced by Mr Hunt earlier this year.
This includes £485 million of investment in support for unemployed people who are on Universal Credit, as well as people working less than full time hours.
Economically inactive claimants who claim Universal Credit were previously ineligible for back-to-work support because it was targeted at those who were most likely to get jobs.
The support will now be extended to those who are less likely to be actively seeking work or who face challenges finding long-term positions.
It means that 30,000 young people will have the option to access three different kinds of support: additional time with a work coach, youth hubs, and youth employability coaches.
Work coaches will help young people identify their transferable skills, assist them to improve their CVs and prepare them for interviews, while youth hubs give advice and guidance.
Young people facing more serious barriers to finding work such as problems with addiction or homelessness will be able to access youth employability coaches.
Tens of thousands of jobless young people could be helped to find work under Rishi Sunak’s plans to get people into employment
The DWP noted that young people were more likely to be economically inactive than the rest of the population.
It added that work reduced the risk of depression, improved physical health, helped to build self-confidence and to make friends and socialise.
Mr Stride said: ‘My department is introducing the next generation of welfare reforms to reduce economic inactivity and help thousands more people into work.
‘Expanding the Youth Offer will not only help to grow the economy, it will change lives – providing more young people with the pay, purpose and mental health advantages that we know work brings.’
READ MORE: ‘Going back to the office will help you get on’: Rishi Sunak tells young people to be in the workplace as they start to build a career
Barry Fletcher, chief executive of Youth Futures Foundation, added: ‘We welcome the extension of the Youth Offer, which will provide support to more young people in their search for a job.
‘Evidence shows that some groups of young people, including young parents and carers, face additional challenges in their search for work and we are pleased to see the start of the expansion today, enabling more young people to benefit from the accessibility of Youth Hubs and the guidance specialist coaches can provide.’
The Prime Minister has vowed in the past to get hundreds of thousands of Britons back into work.
Earlier this year, he said: ‘We must get people back to work. It is to me as a Conservative unconscionable that at a time when businesses are crying out for workers, a quarter of our labour force is inactive.
‘Good, well-paid jobs don’t just give people financial stability, they provide purpose.
‘I believe that if you work hard and play by the rules you should be rewarded, which is why, as soon as we can, the Government will reduce the burden of taxation on working people.’
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