Youth Contract extended in Scotland

The Youth Contract is a £1 billion package of support from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to help young unemployed people between 18 and 24 years old prepare for work and find a job.

Wage incentives form part of the Contract and 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.

Wage incentives were previously available for the long term unemployed through the Work Programme. The incentives were available to young people who had been on unemployment benefit for nine months or 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 after six months. DWP is continuing to provide additional support to those in the three hotspot areas by making extra Jobcentre adviser time available. For the first three months, young jobseekers will get an average of 80 minutes extra time each fortnight to help them prepare for and find work.

Commenting Mike Crockart said:

“This is a very welcome extension to the Youth Contract. Wage incentives kicking in after 6 months instead of 9 will help more young people in Edinburgh to find work.

“I know from my campaign to find 100 local training opportunities for 100 young people that there are a lot of employers out there who are keen to take someone but simply cannot afford to.

“The wage incentive encourages employers to think again about taking on a young person. I have taken on apprentices in my office so I know, first hand, the value which they can add to a workplace.

“Each opportunity given by an employer has the potential to be life-changing for a young person.

“This extension of wage incentives shows the Government’s determination to support Scotland’s young people in today’s challenging job market.”