(Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor) – The UK coalition government admitted on Monday that a £2,275 wage incentive to tackle youth unemployment had got off to a slow start, as it published data showing that fewer than 5,000 subsidies had been paid since the scheme began more than a year ago.
The Department for Work and Pensions said take-up of the incentive was now on a “clear upwards trajectory”, but added that any unclaimed money would be switched to other programmes to help young people into work.
Labour said the scheme had “utterly failed” and was on course to undershoot its target by more than 92 per cent.
The subsidy is part of the £1bn, three-year Youth Contract, launched in April 2012 and championed by Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister. It offers businesses up to £2,275 for taking on an 18- to 24-year-old who has been out of work for at least six months.
The Youth Contract includes funding to pay 160,000 wage incentives over three years. It also includes work experience places, apprenticeships and mentoring.
The DWP said businesses had made more than 21,000 “job commitments” as a result of the wage incentive up to May this year, measured by the number of subsidy forms issued to employers when young people are recruited.
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