Youth Contract was launched in November 2012 in order to improve the employability prospects for JSA claimants under 25.This is a first of series of research reports from a comprehensive evaluation of Youth Contract package of policies which aims to provide an independent assessment of the delivery and the impact of the policies. Further information on the Youth Contract can be found under the following link:
Wage incentives are a key element of the Government’s Youth Contract measures. From April 2012, wage incentive payments of up to £2,275 were made available to employers recruiting an unemployed 18-24 year-old participant of the Work Programme. From July 2012 this eligibility was extended to 18-24 year-old claimants who have passed six months on JSA in unemployment hotspot areas. The scheme was extended further from 17th December to all 18-24 JSA customers who pass six months on JSA. The report provides some early feedback on delivery and impact of the scheme from a survey of employers who have received a wage incentive claim form alongside qualitative research with Work Programme Providers and JCP staff. The research was conducted in the early months of the scheme and therefore should not be used to draw conclusions about the overall effectiveness of the wage incentive scheme.
DWP have used findings from the research to inform continuous improvement activity associated with the Wage Incentive scheme. Since the research, DWP have undertaken a wide range of marketing activities and have also introduced a bulks claims process in response to feedback from larger employers.