The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore has welcomed the extension of the Youth Contract in Scotland.
The Youth Contract is a package of support from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) worth almost £1 billion to help young unemployed people between 18 and 24 years old prepare for work and find a job. Wage incentives allow employers to claim up to £2,275 when they take on a young person who has been out of work for some time, helping businesses to cover the costs of national insurance contributions or fund extra training or supervision whilst giving a young person an opportunity to work.
Secretary of State Michael Moore said:
“I welcome this extension to the £1bn Youth Contract as youth unemployment is a serious cause for concern across Scotland. Recently I visited Kilbirnie in North Ayrshire to discuss the issues facing young people there. North Ayrshire was one of the hotspots nominated by DWP for extra support for young people and I am encouraged that young people throughout Scotland will now benefit from the increased opportunities wage incentives bring.
“It is essential we help our young people get a foot on to the jobs ladder. through extending wage incentives; work experience opportunities and extra jobcentre adviser support.”
Wage incentives were previously available for the long term unemployed through the Work Programme or to young people who had been on unemployment benefit for more than six months in three unemployment hotspot areas in Scotland: Clackmannanshire; North Ayrshire and West Dunbartonshire. From today the incentives will be available nationwide. DWP are also making extra Jobcentre adviser time available for young people in the hotspot areas at the start of their claim, so these areas continue to receive more support. For the first three months, young jobseekers will get an average of 80 minutes extra time every fortnight to help them prepare for and find work.