by timpickstone on 20 January, 2010
Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg will today use a new and social media initiative co-hosted by the UK Youth Parliament to launch the partyâ€™s youth jobs manifesto pledge.
On the day that new statistics show the number of young people unemployed for more than six months has doubled in two years, Nick Clegg will announce the partyâ€™s plans using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The proposals would ensure young people do not spend more than 90 days on Jobseekers Allowance before they get more training, education, an internship or a place on a work programme.
Todayâ€™s announcement forms the next step in the Liberal Democratsâ€™ economic stimulus and job creation package. The plans will invest almost Â£900m in increasing the number of further education places, giving students financial support to return to college and creating a paid internship scheme.
Nick Clegg said:
â€œYoung people feel cheated by this recession. Everyone knows someone who has recently left college or university with hopes of starting a career only to find they cannot even get on the lowest rung of the job ladder. We must help them now or they will be left behind in any recovery.
Our promise of more training, education, an internship or a place on a work programme will give hope to the nearly one million young people who currently canâ€™t find a job. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter play just as important a role as TV or newspapers in young peopleâ€™s lives. Politicians canâ€™t ignore new and social media if they want to connect with the next generation of voters.â€
More information on the plans below:
This plan forms part of the Liberal Democratsâ€™ economic stimulus and job creation package. In our first year in office we will redirect over Â£3.6bn of spending to creating jobs and building up Britainâ€™s infrastructure. In the following years this money will be redirected to other Lib Dem spending priorities and reducing the structural deficit.
We will invest almost Â£900million in creating opportunities to help young people who are unemployed gain the skills and experience to move back in to work.
The 90 day promise
Under our proposals a young person would not claim Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) for more than three months without taking up training, a job or an internship. If they did not, they would be fast-tracked onto a welfare-to-work programme such as the Flexible New Deal. At the moment a young person waits 12 months before being referred to a back to work programme which is too long.
We will support young people while they get valuable work experience by paying anyone undertaking an internship a â€˜training allowanceâ€™ of Â£55 a week (Â£5 more than JSA). This will help employers who want to offer young people work experience but cannot afford to pay them. We envisage that young people will do this for up to 3 months and receipt of the allowance will be dependent on attendance.
We will work with employers in the private and public sectors to ensure that there are a wide range of opportunities available.
More foundation degree places
We will fund up to 15,000 more college-based foundation degree places over the next academic year. Foundation degrees focus on a particular job or profession and are the equivalent of two thirds of a full honours degree. They are fully flexible qualifications which allow students to study part-time or full-time to fit their lifestyle.
Financial help to go back to college
We will increase the Adult Learning Grant which is a means-tested benefit for 18-24 year olds studying their first level 2 or 3 qualifications (GCSE or A Level equivalent). We will increase the payments by Â£15 a week to Â£45 to provide young people who are eligible with a real choice between improving their skills and claiming Jobseekers Allowance.
The economic stimulus package to create a fair and balanced economy with sustainable growth is funded by redirecting government spending. This includes removing Tax Credits from higher earners (Â£700m), scrapping the intercept modernisation program (Â£150m), restricting growth in the Train to Gain budget (Â£375m), scrapping the Child Trust Fund (Â£370m), cutting the Highways Agency Major Improvements Budget (Â£1,080m) and the introduction of a 10% banking levy (Â£1,000m). In the first year of the new Parliament, the party would redirect this Â£3.6bn of spending to create jobs and build up Britainâ€™s infrastructure. In the following years this money will be redirected to other Lib Dem spending priorities and reducing the structural deficit.