The impact of the government’s New Deal for Young People has been “woeful,” a report by former Minister for Welfare Reform Frank Field argues today.
The scheme, which began in April 1998 and has so far cost £1.9 billion, has failed to bring down the number of unemployed young people, rebutting claims by the government that it has “abolished” youth unemployment, according to the report published by independent think-tank Reform.
It cited the latest figures showing that 507,000 18-24-year-olds are unemployed – a rise of 70,000 from April 1998.
The report also showed the numbers of young people not in education, employment or training were also higher than in 1998 and rising.
Field said the New Deal had been the “brainchild” of Chancellor Gordon Brown, and urged him to take action.
“The results show that even if the money was available, which it isn’t, more of the same won’t work and will be a betrayal of young unemployed people. As part of the Labour leadership contest, it is important for the Chancellor, and the candidates for the deputy leadership, to tell the electorate how best to move the 507,000 unemployed young people into work, as the New Deal is failing to do so,” Field added.
The New Deal for Young People is part of the government’s welfare to work strategy to help unemployed people into work and aimed at 18-24-year-olds who have been claiming jobseeker’s allowance for six months or more.