Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg has announced a £1 billion pound Youth Contract to tackle youth unemployment, which aims to ensure that all jobless young people are earning or learning again before long-term damage is done.
In Swansea, 1,905 18-24 year olds are currently in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance and would stand to benefit from the Youth Contract. The figure for Neath Port Talbot is 1,305 whilst in Bridgend 1,265 18-24 year olds receive JSA and could potentially benefit from this initiative.
Starting next April, the Youth Contract will provide at least 410,000 new work places for 18 to 24 year olds into work over the next three years. This includes 160,000 wage subsidies and 250,000 new work experience placements.
The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black welcomed the new programme:
“In these difficult times Liberal Democrats are doing the right thing and making sure we help those who need it most.
“If young people are out of work, the consequences of that will be felt for decades afterwards. We need to ensure that the young people of today do not have a false start.
“The Youth Contract will help those who need it most through advice, support, training and by giving people in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend the experience necessary to be successful in the work place.
“While we’re clearing up the economic mess that Labour left behind, the Coalition Government is ensuring that our children do not bear the consequences of Labour’s mistakes.
“As a Liberal Democrat, I am proud that the Coalition Government is doing the right thing to prevent another lost generation.”
Commenting further, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:
“Youth unemployment is an economic waste and a slow-burn social disaster.
“We can’t lose the skills and talent of our young people – right when we need them most. We can’t afford to leave our young men and women on the scrap heap. We need the next generation to help us build a new economy.
“The aim of the Youth Contract is to get every unemployed young person working or learning again before long-term damage is done.
“This is a £1bn package and what’s different about it is that it gets young people into proper, lasting jobs in the private sector.”