The Government has today formally launched its Youth Contract which aims to provide nearly half-a-million new opportunities for 18-24 year-olds. The scheme also includes wage incentives worth up to £2,275 each, for employers who can offer job-seekers from the Government’s Work Programme a job lasting at least 26 weeks.
Tom Hadley, Director of Policy & Professional Services at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) – the representative body for the UK recruitment industry, says:

“The Youth Contract recognises the need to meet the youth unemployment challenge head on and reflects recommendations put forward by the REC’s Youth Employment Taskforce – including financial incentives for employers. The fact that these only apply to job-seekers on the Government’s Work Programme may limit the impact, and wage incentives are only part of the solution as the overriding priority for business is to ensure that young people have the skills, competencies and commitment to make a difference.

“Looking ahead, employers and recruiters can play a leading role by working with schools and colleges to build better bridges into the world of work. The business community is committed to playing its part but Government can do more to develop a careers support and guidance network that enables young people to make more informed choices.

“The REC will continue to galvanise the involvement of the UK’s £25 billion recruitment industry through our Youth Employment Charter and to showcase the positive contribution that recruiters are already making”.