Friday, 25 November 2011

Nick Clegg: Today I have launched the Youth Contract

Today I have launched the Youth Contract, a £1bn programme to get every unemployed young person earning or learning again before long-term damage is done.

We cannot afford to lose the skills and talent of our young people – right when we need them most. We need the next generation to help us build a new economy.

Across the UK, youth unemployment has risen to 21.9% and in South Cambridgeshire, there are currently 350 young people claiming Job Seekers Allowance. We owe it to them to make sure that even in tough economic times, we will do everything we can to find them a job, training or education.

That is why today I have committed the Coalition to investing £1bn to tackle youth unemployment. You can read more about the contract here, but it includes:
  • A work experience place for every unemployed 18 to 24 year old who wants one
  • 410,000 new work places over the next three years
  • 20,000 more incentive payments to encourage employers to take on young apprentices
  • 250,000 new work experience placements
  • And because we know businesses are struggling to take young people on, we will pay half their basic wage for six months
Young people have been hit particularly hard in the recession, but even in the boom years, Labour failed to tackle the issue. During Labour’s 13 years, youth unemployment rose by 40%. With Liberal Democrats in Government, we won’t allow the children brought up in the boom to bear the brunt of the bust. The next generation must not pay the price for my generation’s mistakes. So the Coalition Government won’t sit on our hands and let a generation fall behind.

Nick Clegg MP
Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister