‘Renewed urgency’ to help young jobless

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

THE Government is to help Hartlepool’s young unemployed with “renewed urgency”, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is set to outline today.

Extra help in youth unemployment hotspots, including Hartlepool, was due to be announced by Mr Clegg in a speech to business bosses.

The scheme will include incentives for businesses to take on young people being made available three months sooner than in other parts of the country.

In a speech at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Action for Jobs Summit, Mr Clegg will today say: “I can announce today that we will be helping young people in Hartlepool with renewed urgency.

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“For a simple reason, these are the young people who are hardest to reach, in the labour markets that are hardest to crack and they cannot be made to wait.”

Government wage subsidies to businesses of £2,275 will be made available after a young person has been out of work for six months instead of nine months.

The wage subsidies were introduced as part of the £1bn Youth Contract launched last year which aimed to get all young people earning or learning.

Hartlepool is one of nine youth unemployment hotspots nationally that will be given the extra help.

The announcement comes after the Hartlepool Mail launched our Work in Progress campaign to highlight the plight of jobless people in the town. Figures show 1,440 people aged 18 to 25 in Hartlepool are unemployed, which accounts for 17.3 per cent of people in the age group.

Youth unemployment is estimated top cost the country up to £155m a week in benefits and lost productivity, according to the London School of Economics and the Prince’s Trust young people’s charity.

Mr Clegg was set to add: “Youth unemployment is a national problem, but it is more acute in certain places.

“Whatever the reason, these are the toughest parts of the country to be young, down and out.

“Job centres will be able to make use of the subsidy before people are referred to the Work Programme, capitalising on their links with local employers.”

They will also be offered more support of training, coaching, CV help and preparing for interviews.

The extra help should be in place by the end of July.