Britain’s top civil servant is to conduct a wholesale review of how to help unemployed young people amid concern at the top of government that the coalition is failing the under-25s.
David Cameron and Nick Clegg have asked Sir Jeremy Heywood, cabinet secretary, to examine the coalition’s strategy to tackle youth unemployment.
The move suggests ministers believe efforts to tackle the problem have failed.
Last week’s employment figures showed that, while the jobless total has fallen slightly, youth unemployment rose slightly, to almost 1m.
One senior coalition adviser said: “A lot of young people are not making the successful transition from education to employment.
“The current set of provisions for this group are not clear, and are spread across a whole range of government departments and initiatives. We need to provide a simple, clear route.”
The review is an implicit admission that the Youth Contract, launched in 2011 with great fanfare by Mr Clegg, deputy prime minister, has not worked. The scheme was designed to help find work for young people through internships, work experience and subsidies for companies to take on new employees.
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