High number of youths too ill to work

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SHEFFIELD is one of the top 10 places in the country for the number of young people who are too ill to work.

The city has the seventh-highest number of incapacity benefits claimants aged 18 to 24 - some 910 - of any location in Great Britain.

Birmingham has the highest total, 1,770.

The figures were released by the Department for Work and Pensions, which said 65,000 young people nationally have been signed off work and claiming incapacity benefit for under five years.

Some 20,000 more young people in the UK have been claiming the payments for more than five years.

Employment minister Chris Grayling said: “These figures are further evidence that too many young people have just been left behind.

“It can’t be right that thousands of young people in the prime of their lives have been left on incapacity benefit without any proper support to see whether there was more they could be doing.

“We will soon start assessing everyone on incapacity benefit to see if they can work, and from the summer our work programme will come on stream providing support built around the needs of the individual to help them on the journey to find a job.”

The DWP is beginning the process in April. Young people will be assessed to see whether they can return to work or require more support.