Press release

£170 million to help young people find jobs

A funding boost is to be targeted at 5 areas of the UK to help young people into work, thanks to the Youth Employment Initiative.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


A funding boost is to be targeted at 5 areas of the UK to help young people into work, thanks to the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), a new £170 million programme.

This funding, which aims to help young people aged 15 to 24 years find work, will be matched by an equal amount from the European Social Fund and also by project partners, bringing the total funding to nearly £490 million.

The 5 eligible areas will each receive a share of the money to fund new and innovative youth employment programmes:

  • Inner London - £35.7 million
  • Merseyside - £22.2 million
  • Southwest Scotland - £38.6 million
  • Tees Valley & Durham - £19.8 million
  • West Midlands - £42.2 million

In addition, a small amount of the funds is being targeted at smaller regions or cities outside these areas where youth unemployment is also high. These locations are:

  • Hull - £3.7 million
  • Leicester - £4.1 million
  • Nottingham - £4.0 million
  • Thurrock - £1.5 million

YEI funding will be handed to the respective Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas, and to extend provision of apprenticeships, work experience placements and youth entrepreneurship programmes amongst other activities. LEP areas may also choose to develop new and innovative youth employment programmes based on their understanding of the local economy.

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said:

There are an increasing number of young people in jobs and youth unemployment is falling, but there is always more we can do. This new funding will help our long term economic plan to make sure young people have what it takes - the skills, knowledge, and behaviour - to get the jobs that are increasingly available.

Giving the Local Enterprise Partnership areas control over this funding means they can put in place measures tailored toward youngsters in their area.

Minister for Employment Esther McVey said:

With youth unemployment falling and the number of young people in jobs going up, it’s clear that many young people across the country have the drive and ideas to be successful. Through our schemes I want to make sure we do all we can so young people have the skills they need to get their foot in the door, and also to progress their careers.

As the economy grows and youth unemployment continues to drop, this extra funding will support those efforts and help to make sure that even more young people are able to get into work, and know for themselves the security of a regular wage.

Funding is proportional to the numbers of youth unemployed in each region, based on latest EU figures.

Notes to Editors

  1. Eligible areas are NUTS2 areas with a youth unemployment rate above 25% in 2012 and NUTS3 areas with a youth unemployment rate above 30% in 2012.

  2. The government is giving eligible LEP areas a notional allocation as part of their structural funds allocations. Each area is developing a strategy for how the structural funds and Youth Employment Initiative can be most effectively used in its area.

  3. Final allocations are subject to confirmation by the European Commission.

  4. All figures are in current prices. Figures given in GBP are for illustrative purposes only, allocations are set in Euros.

Qualifying areas € million (current prices)
Inner London 42.8
Merseyside 26.6
South Western Scotland 46.3
Tees Valley and Durham 23.7
West Midlands 50.7
Hull 4.5
Leicester 4.9
Nottingham 4.8
Thurrock 1.8

5.The UK has been given an allocation of €206.1 million for the Youth Employment Initiative.

6.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 16 April 2014