The Youth Contract, the Government scheme announced today to lift 16 to 24 year olds out of unemployment and into work, has been welcomed by Business West.
The scheme aims to create at least 410,000 new jobs over the next three years by offering firms £2,275 ‘wage incentives’ to take on up to 160,000 under-25s, while a further 250,000 work experience placements will be created.
Small businesses will also be encouraged to recruit their first apprentices with an extra 20,000 incentive payments.
Phil Smith, managing director of Business West, the business lobbying and support organisation which runs The Initiative in Swindon, said: "Rising levels of youth unemployment are a growing cause for concern among 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 tackle this societal issue and offer valuable experience to hundreds of thousands of young people.”
He said businesses were 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,” he said.
“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."
PUBLICATION: Swindon Business News - 4th April 2012