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Voluntary and community sector support Government’s Youth Contract

Key social enterprise, voluntary and community organisations have agreed to support the Government’s programme to tackle unemployment among young people.

The £1billion Youth Contract programme aims to make sure that every young person between the ages of 18 and 24 years is either earning or learning. It is expected that a quarter of a million work experience places will be created through the Department for Work and Pension’s work experience and sector-based work acadamies programmes.

Employers who recruit young people who are unemployed, claiming benefits and participating in the Work Programme will receive wage incentives worth up to £2,275.

Now that the voluntary, charity and social enterprise sector have voiced support for the programme, employers in this sector who want to offer jobs to young people will be able to participate in the wage incentive.

At a recent roundtable discussion with charity leaders, ministers welcomed the support from some of Britain’s biggest charities including Mind, Groundwork and the NSPCC. The Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) will encourage their members to consider the opportunities offered by the scheme.

Minister for Employment Chris Grayling said:

‘We want to harness the experience from all sectors to make sure we get it right on youth unemployment. We want young people to enter the labour market with the skills, training and experience required to secure sustainable employment. But we can’t do this alone, that is why today we are meeting with voluntary sector organisations and welcoming them on board with the Youth Contract.’

NCVO Deputy Chief Executive Ben Kernighan said:

‘Addressing youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges facing the country. I urge voluntary organisations to consider the opportunities that the youth contract may offer, including taking on apprentices, creating jobs supported by new wage subsidies and providing support to young people not in education, employment or training.’

Employers can register their interest in supporting the Youth Contract and can find out more via the DWP website.