The Government has officially launched the Youth Contract, a package of support worth almost £1billion to help young unemployed people prepare for work and find a job. Employers will be offered ‘wage incentives’ to take on up to 160,000 under 25 year olds from the Work Programme. An additional 250,000 work experience placements will also be created from the scheme.
Commenting on the launch of the Work Programme, Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West said: "Rising levels of youth unemployment are a growing cause for concern amongst both the business community and across wider society. Business West welcomes the Government’s launch of the Youth Contract as a positive move, which will help to tackle this societal issue and offer valuable experience to hundreds of thousands of young people.
“Businesses are ready to help young people gain vital work skills and experience needed to become tomorrow’s success stories, so equally welcome is the news that Government has minimised the payment risks to smaller firms taking up the scheme. Making it easier for smaller businesses to engage in the programme, improves the benefits of this scheme to both the business community and the young people alike."
Phil Smith concluded: “Chambers of Commerce up and down the country including our own in Bristol, Bath and Gloucestershire, will be promoting the placements, apprenticeships and job subsidies available under the Youth Contract, helping more young people take their first step into the world of work.”
PRESS RELEASE - 2 April 2012