The coalition’s flagship programme to tackle youth unemployment is to be wound up early, amid claims that it has been an abject failure.
The £1bn youth contract wage incentive scheme was championed by Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister, at the height of the recession as a way to help tackle youth unemployment. But with the jobs market rapidly improving and take-up of the programme falling substantially below projected levels, it is to be cut short next month.
Under the scheme employers were offered £2,275 if they provided a six-month “job start” for someone aged under 25.
But in the first year of the scheme up to May 2013 only 4,690 recruits completed their placements, against a target of 160,000 for the entire programme.
Andrew Thomas, head of the Work…
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