Minister launches ‘youth contract’ to get east London youngsters off benefits

Businesses are being urged to take on more school-leavers in deprived areas of east London where nearly 11,000 youths are on benefits.

A £1 billion ‘youth contract’ national promotion is being launched by the government to get more youngsters off the dole.

Worst-hit area in east London is Tower Hamlets, with almost 3,000 youngsters aged 18 to 24 who don’t have a job, while neighbouring Newham is almost as bad with nearly 2,700 out of work.

Hackney has 1,900 unemployed youngsters, Waltham Forest has 2,380, Barking & Dagenham 1,900 and Redbridge 1,550.

Employment Minister Mark Hoban is offering businesses wage incentives up to £2,275 if they take on a youngster who has been out of work more than six months.

“They just need to get their foot in the door so they can prove their worth,” he said. “The scheme provides work experience placements and apprenticeships so young jobseekers get the skills to make a real contribution in the workplace.”

His advertising campaign begins over the next two weeks in the North East, before working its way to the Midlands and the south next month.