Training plan for young jobless

Young unemployed people without GCSE-level qualifications in English and maths will be required to do up to 16 hours a week of training or risk losing their benefits under measures announced by the Chancellor.

33428d32-5dab-11e3-b72e-0a0c0223000020131206T114318
Young unemployed people without GCSE-level qualifications in English and maths will be required to do up to 16 hours a week of training

Young unemployed people without GCSE-level qualifications in English and maths will be required to do up to 16 hours a week of training or risk losing their benefits under measures announced by the Chancellor.

Jobseekers' Allowance claimants aged 18 to 21 will be required to take part in a work experience placement, a traineeship or community work if they have not found work after six months.

The Government said the moves followed evidence that low-skilled JSA claimants and those without work experience spent longer on benefits and found it more difficult to stay in employment.

The new schemes will be piloted in parts of the country from next April.

The Government said it will invest around £10 million a year in Jobcentre Plus support for 16 and 17-year-olds who want help to find apprenticeships and training.

The Chancellor also announced the abolition of employer National Insurance contributions for under-21s from April 2015, with the exception of those earning more than £42,285.

He told MPs that employment was at an all-time high, while unemployment was forecast to fall in the next few years from 7.6% to 5.6%.

Businesses have created three jobs for every one lost in the public sector, and this trend was forecast to continue, he said.

More than a third of young people in England reach the age of 19 without achieving the equivalent of a GCSE pass in English and maths.

A young person is twice as likely to be classed as not in education, employment or training (Neet) if they have not achieved a Level 2 qualification by the age of 18.

The Business, and Work and Pensions Departments said they will pilot a requirement that all young people aged 18 to 21 on Jobseeker's Allowance will have to undertake a traineeship, work experience or community work.