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Young people leaving education to do three months' full-time unpaid work experience

The Employment Minister Chris Grayling has launched a scheme where young people leaving education with no job to go to will be made to do three months' full-time unpaid work experience with charities and social enterprises or have their benefits cut.

School leavers will be encouraged to engage with work experience

Under new plans 18 to 24 year-olds who have spent less than six months in employment since leaving school or college will have to work at least 30 hours a week to get their £56-a-week jobseeker’s allowance.

They will also get a guaranteed 10 hours a week help preparing their CVs and searching for a job.
Some 968,000 aged 16 to 24 are now Neets — not in employment, education or training — up from 949,000 in the first quarter of the year. However 16 and 17-year-old will not be covered by the scheme as they are ineligible for jobseeker’s allowance.

Ministers denied the plan amounted to “slave labour” and claimed it was designed to ensure that young people leaving education got into the routine of work immediately and didn’t become used to a “benefits lifestyle”.

However the move has been criticised by Labour and the unions who said more effort should be put into organising paid training for young people that was be directly relevant to future employment. The scheme will initially be launched in London but is expected to be rolled out around the country.

Announcing the move, alongside the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the Employment Minister Chris Grayling said the scheme would help young Londoners improve their career prospects. The scheme will be tested in 16 London boroughs including the areas affected by last year’s riots.

Mr Johnson said: “I would much rather people had the fun and the experience of work placements and the confidence that comes with it than being on benefits and doing nothing [and] seeing their self-esteem fall away.”

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