Clegg pledges to defuse the ‘ticking time-bomb’ of inactive teens in Britain
The Deputy Prime Minister plans to invest £126 million to help 55,000 of the 1,000,000 young NEETs (not in education, employment or training) who reside in the UK at present.
The new initiative, launched as part of the coalition’s Youth Contract Scheme, will invite businesses and charities to bid for 16-17 year olds in contracts worth up to £2,200.
The winning organisations will receive the initial payments upfront and additional payouts when the youngsters show progress and improvement.
Mr Clegg said: “Sitting at home with nothing to do when you’re so young can knock the stuffing out of you for years. It is a tragedy for the young people involved – a ticking time bomb for the economy and our society as a whole.”
Although unemployment among young people in the UK is nothing new, the state of the current economic climate means that the problem could now have much bigger repercussions than it has in the past. Many teenagers need the help and support to learn skills necessary for success.
Evidence from the Department of Education suggests that by the age of 42, a person who was frequently unemployed as a teenager is likely to earn 12-15 % less than their contemporaries.
Between October and December of 2011, the number of unemployed 16-24 year olds increased by 22,000, meaning that one in five young people in the UK would be considered NEETs.
Youth is one of the most important and influential stages of our lives and one that significantly shapes our adulthoods. For this reason, it is crucial that disadvantaged young people are given the tools to help themselves build the skills, ambition and optimism to get them going. Without building these characteristics from a young age, life could become increasingly difficult in the future.
To find out how counselling can help young people, please take a look at our Types of Distress pages, where you will find a large amount of information detailing how counselling can help people deal with difficult situations.
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