Volunteering and training key to youth plans

Plans to encourage volunteering among young people and to
persuade 16- and 17-year-olds not in school or work or lacking
basic skills back into education or training were launched last
month alongside the long-awaited youth green paper.

New activity and learning agreements, to be piloted in 12 area
across England from next April, will see around 30,000 16- and
17-year-olds agree to return to education or receive vocational
training in return for financial support.

Those out of work or education could receive up to œ40 a week
for committing to going back to college or signing up to work-based
learning. For those in work but not receiving accredited training,
money will be available to meet the costs associated with obtaining
qualifications and to subsidise employers who allow staff time off
to study.

To deliver its aim in the youth green paper to get all young people
to volunteer and contribute to their communities, the government is
proposing more peer mentoring, an expansion of longer-term
volunteering opportunities, and more volunteering in schools and
other public services.

A new charitable body will be set up over the next six months to
help achieve these changes and to take forward the recommendations
of the Russell Commission on volunteering. Continued funding has
also been promised for the Young Volunteer Challenge scheme.

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