Government announces new financial support for young people

A package of measures designed to encourage 16- to 19-year-olds to take part in education and training was launched by the government today.

Developed as part of the review of financial support for this age group, the measures include the extension of financial support to 19-year-olds completing a course started before their 19th birthday, up to the age of 20.

The distinction in financial support between education and unwaged training programmes will be abolished so that young people doing either will be eligible for child benefit; child tax credit and education maintenance allowance.

Two pilot schemes in England will also be launched. The activity agreement and allowance will test different packages of financial support for young people to help identify the most effective model for engaging 16- to 17-year-olds not in education, employment or training; while the learning agreement pilots will aim to increase training options for 16- to 17-year-olds in employment with no training.

Maria Eagle, minister for children, young people and families, said that too many young people dropped out of learning at 16. “We need to work collaboratively to ensure that the success of our young people is at the centre of all that we do,” she added.

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