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Youth Unemployment and the Youth Contract (Second Report of Session 2012-13 - Volume I: Report, Together With Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence)

Youth Unemployment and the Youth Contract (Second Report of Session 2012-13 - Volume I: Report, Together With Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence)

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This report comments positively on some aspects of the design of the Youth Contract. It builds on the types of interventions which have been shown to have a positive impact: increased Jobcentre Plus (JCP) adviser support; work experience placements; and apprenticeships. It also welcomes the inclusion of a new scheme for 16-17 year-olds, the large majority of whom do not receive support from JCP as they are ineligible for Jobseekers Allowance (JSA). The Committee acknowledges that the Government has sensibly focused wage incentives - the key new element of the Youth Contract - on longer term young unemployed claimants and there is an attempt to achieve sustainable job outcomes by linking wage incentives to the Work Programme payment structure, in which providers are financially incentivised to keep participants in work and off benefits in the longer term. However the Youth Contract on its own it will not be enough to address the current unacceptably high level of youth unemployment. A significant impact can only be made if all the targets are met. In particular, past experience shows that 160,000 wage incentives is a very ambitious target in the current economic climate. And 250,000 additional work experience placements for young people may also be unrealistic