£1m incentive for businesses to recruit youths

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MORE than £1 million could be spent in Sheffield paying businesses and organisations to get jobless teenagers into work or training.

Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg launched the payment-by-results scheme, which is aimed at 55,000 teenagers aged 16 and 17 across the country.

Sheffield could receive £1.26 million of the £126m funding being made available nationwide to target youths who are not in employment, education or training, and have poor qualifications.

The scheme follows the announcement of a £1 billion Youth Contract to provide workplace-based training schemes for a wider range of young people.

Mr Clegg said: “We urgently need to step up efforts to ensure some of our most troubled teenagers have the skills, confidence and opportunities to succeed.”

Sheffield Lib Dem councillors welcomed the news.

The party’s deputy leader on Sheffield Council, Coun Colin Ross, said: “This fund will be targeted at those with the most difficulty finding work, many of whom have complex issues or health problems and a lack of GCSEs.

“Helping these young people is not without challenges, but we all have a duty to reach out to the young people who can be hardest to reach.

“This action - along with the new University Technical College in the city centre – will help to ensure our young people get the right skills and experience they need to secure long-term, sustainable jobs.”

Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, Liam Byrne, said: “This is much too small and much too late to tackle a problem that is likely to cost our country £28bn over the next 10 years. The Government needs to bite the bullet and put in place a sensible tax on bankers’ bonuses in the next budget to help get 100,000 young people back to work.”