The Deputy Prime Minister is today calling on businesses to sign up to the government’s £1bn Youth Contract aimed at getting young unemployed people into work. Thousands of companies will receive a letter from the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, and Minister for Employment Chris Grayling, calling on them to take up the initiative.Commenting, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“At a time of high youth unemployment, any incentives to get young people into work are welcome. The Youth Contract will go a long way to giving employers the much-needed encouragement they need to hire young people. Employers often spend a large amount of time and money training up those not in education, employment or training (NEETs). The proposal to pay employers half of the minimum wage payment for the first six months will help businesses offset this cost.
 
“But it is important that employers can claim this payment in a reliable and the least bureaucratic way possible. This is especially important for smaller firms who need payment quickly to compensate for the initial costs of recruitment and basic training. Employers must have a clear point of contact, and any administrative burden should be kept to a minimum.
 
“Businesses are ready to do their bit, and the Youth Contract will provide a much-needed jobs boost for the young. But this scheme aims to help young people who are removed from the labour market, and could pose a considerable risk for employers. This is why contracts should be as flexible as possible to incentivise more firms to give these young people a chance.”