Cornwall’s Liberal Democrat MPs have welcomed the start of the new £1 billion Youth Contract this week.
The Youth Contract was announced last year by Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, to tackle youth unemployment and started on 2nd April.
The Youth Contract aims to ensure that all jobless young people are earning or learning again before long-term damage is done.
In Cornwall, around 3,700 18 to 24-year olds are currently in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance and would stand to benefit.
The Youth Contract will provide at least 410,000 new work places nationally for 18 to 24-year olds over the next three years. This includes 160,000 wage subsidies and 250,000 new work experience placements.
A new programme to will help 16 and 17-year olds who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs). This will help the most disengaged of the 8,000 young people not in employment, education or training in the South West get back to school or college, onto a proper apprenticeship or into a job with training.
In addition, there will be at least 20,000 more incentive payments to encourage employers to take on young apprentices in England.
Commenting, North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson said:
“In these difficult times Liberal Democrats are doing the right thing by making sure we help those who need it most.
“If young people are out of work, the consequences of that will be felt for a long time afterwards. We have to ensure that the young people of today do not have a false start to their careers.
“The Youth Contract will help those who need it most through effective advice, support, training and by giving people in Cornwall the experience necessary to be successful in the work place.
St Austell and Newquay’s MP, Stephen Gilbert, added:
“While we’re clearing up the economic mess that Labour left behind, the Coalition Government is ensuring that our children do not bear the consequences of Labour’s mistakes.
“As a Liberal Democrat, I am proud that the Coalition Government is doing the right thing to prevent another lost generation.”
Commenting further, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:
“Youth unemployment is a slow-burn social disaster and an economic waste.
“We can’t lose the skills and talent of our young people – right when we need them most. We need the next generation to help us build a new economy.
“The aim of the Youth Contract is to get every unemployed young person earning or learning again before long-term damage is done, giving them the skills for a lifetime of work.
“This is a £1bn package and it will get young people into proper, lasting jobs.”