THE WEEKLY WORLD EDITION OF The Daily Telegraph AND The Sunday Telegraph
November 30 - December 6 2011 No. 1062
Liverpool draw1-1 with 10-man City
:: SPORT P48
‘I felt like I was in a video game’
Care scandal Elderly abused and robbed in own homes :: NEWS P9
By Robert Winnett Political Editor TENS of thousands of unemployed teenagers will have half their wages paid by the taxpayer if companies offer them a job, under plans to tackle the record number of young people out of work.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, last week announced a £1billion scheme to pay firms more than £2,000 for each young unemployed person they hire.
The payment — effectively a taxpayer-funded bribe for companies — is designed to get more than 400,000 young people into work.
The “Youth Contract” scheme, which has hallmarks of the Youth Training Scheme (YTS) of the 1980s, will be funded by freezing tax credits for up to three years, hitting millions of workers earning up to £28,000.
Although it will cost £1billion in the short term, it is hoped that this will be offset eventually by cutting hundreds of millions of pounds from the benefits bill.
Last Thursday it emerged that the number of so-called Neets — young people not in education, employment or training — has risen to
1.16 million, an increase of 12 per cent in a year.
Mr Clegg insisted that he would not allow a “generation to fall behind” and “bear the brunt” of the recession.
“Youth unemployment is an economic waste and a slowburn social disaster,” he said.
“We can’t lose the skills and talent of our young people, right when we need them most. We can’t afford to leave our young men and women on the scrapheap. We need the next generation to help us build a new economy.
INSIDE Benedict Brogan p19
“If people are out of work when they’re young, they bear the scars for decades. If they have a false start, they might not ever fully catch up.”
He added: “These are tomorrow’s mothers, fathers and taxpayers. If they end up falling behind, our whole society pays the price.”
The YTS of the Thatcher years saw teenagers paid by the state to work for companies while receiving some training. Like YTS, the Youth Contract is likely to raise concerns about firms securing cheap unskilled labour on the taxpayer. There will also be fears that companies will “churn” young workers, replacing them with new recruits once the government payments end.
Senior Coalition sources insisted that businesses had privately assured them that they were committed to finding long-term work for applicants. John Cridland, the director-general of the CBI, said: “We’re pleased that the Government has developed our idea to incentivise businesses to take on the young unemployed. It will encourage firms to take a gamble on a young inexperienced person and help tackle the scourge of youth unemployment.”
Labour criticised the Coalition for announcing the new initiative 18 months after it scrapped a £1billion Labour scheme to create jobs for the young unemployed.
Under the Youth Contract, 160,000 workers aged 18 to 24 will have half their wages paid for the first six months. The scheme will pay only half the minimum wage – worth £2,275 – and employers will make up the difference. Another 250,000 young people
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Actress Sienna Miller joined Hugh Grant, JK Rowling, the Dowlers and the McCanns in front of the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics in London last week Reports: Pages 4 and 5
Gary Speed Wales football coach, 42, found hanged in apparent suicide :: SPORT P47
High streets More bargain stores than book shops :: NEWS P10
‘Those metal thieves have gone too far this time’
Eighteen garden gates stolen in one village as metal thieves strike again Report, page 2