Commenting on today’s announcement by the Department for Work and Pensions to extend the eligibility of the Youth Contract to those unemployed for six months from December 17th, Adam Marshall, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:"The Youth Contract’s offer of voluntary work experience, sector-based work academies, Apprenticeships and wage incentives for employers hiring young people is the right short-term prescription to help young people into work. The Government has learnt the lessons of the past by striving for a standard national package that is easy for employers to understand and to access. Unfortunately, despite their desire to help young people, too few employers know about the Youth Contract and its opportunities. The Government should show its willingness to invest in young people by extending its regional marketing campaign pilot to the rest of the country.
 
Ministers must also re-consider their moves to reduce professional careers education in schools and commit to ensuring that every young person leaves formal education with an understanding of the employment opportunities available and the skills and behaviours required to achieve their potential."