UK Politics

Young and unemployed: Your comments

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says a £1bn plan to provide subsidised work and training placements will "provide hope" to thousands of young people.

The youth contract scheme will give employers subsidies worth £2,275 to take on 160,000 18-to 24-year-olds, for six months, over three years.

Here unemployed BBC News website readers having been giving their views on the scheme:

Between 16 and 24 and unemployed

I am 19 and I have been out of work for three years. I sit at home all day and play on my playstation. I am really getting depressed and recently have started to put on weight. I feel that the job centres should provide more work based apprenticeships for us young people in order for us to get into work. I feel unwanted and left out by the government. We need help fast and fast. Why wait till April? Dave, London

I have been unemployed for around five years. I have been on training courses but still cannot find employment. I have worked voluntarily in charity shops. I am 22-years-old and sick of not being able to gain a full time paid position anywhere. Scott Johnson, Leeds

I finished my A-levels last year and was unsure as what route to take next. I had been considering university with several courses appealing to me but none really generating enough enthusiasm for me to go. I believe with university costs as high as they are, I won't go to unless I become focused on a career and for that career you need a degree. So I have been trying to find work and have applied for many vacancies but have not received any interviews and most of the time not even a reply.

I think there needs to be more routes for young people to take, many more apprenticeships and internships would provide those not suited to university another option, and would give them a skill from which they can profit in the long term. Surely the aim would be to get all the young people who are currently jobless into a field in which they will always have work for the rest of their lives? As for me I am looking into voluntary work abroad, I hope this will help me develop and give me more skills and experience. Ed Clarke, Manchester

Over 24 and unemployed

Whilst I applaud any action on getting people into work it angers me somewhat that at 27 I am not in the government's focus when they hand out help to job seekers, why is it only 16 to 24-year-olds getting all the help and attention? This age group has years of employment to come and are less likely, like myself, to be a single person living alone and responsible for paying all household bills etc! If Nick Clegg and the coalition really want to shake up the jobs sector they should have a hard look at the JobCentrePlus system as it stinks. Adrian Turner

I'm 24 and have been out of work since I left uni over two years ago. I turn 25 in a month - so it's a case of too little too late. What are they doing to help me? Nick

Ironically this scheme will introduce a new kind of squeezed middle - the 25 to 30-year-olds - who are still too young to have the ten plus years experience most employers I'm contacting demand, but are now also too old to benefit from these new incentives and guaranteed placements. I'm 25 myself and after four and a half years of advancing within my previous company, it collapsed four months ago. Now I'm constantly being trumped for positions by the decades of experience offered by dozens of competitors from the generation above. My job search thus far makes me feel very much like one of "the young". If I was 18 months younger I would be contacting direct.gov today to find out what I could be doing to ensure my place for those opportunities. Mike Gathercole, Milton Keynes

In employment following training placements

I am a 16-year-old girl, who despite getting 10.5 GCSEs with grades between A* and C at school, struggled trying to get a job due to lack of experience. So with no luck at trying to get in to work I enrolled in college on a level three extended diploma in business, this seemed a good idea as I was very passionate about it. It was ok but it wasn't what I really wanted, it didn't excite me and was quite boring. Then I saw an advert in a local paper for a recruitment consultant apprenticeship. I called up and asked for an application. Out of around 50 applicants I was one of the lucky 11 to be accepted. From the very first day I started, it was very clear that the staff believed in you, even though I didn't have the experience they still gave me the chance and now I am currently taking part in real working projects. I now feel like I have started a real career. Amy, South Yorkshire

Looks like a watered down version of the Future Jobs Fund that was axed a few months ago. With the Future Jobs Fund, the contracts were 25 hours a week and three months or six months long. The placements were likewise available to young people who had been seeking work from the Job Centre. I would never have got the job I have now if I had not spent six months in a job paid for by the Future Jobs Fund after a soul crushing year spent unemployed. While it is good such a scheme is available again, I can't help thinking time could have been saved had the Future Jobs Fund not been cut in the first place. Rose Scott, Hull

Employers

We are desperate to find two young people to be trained as painters and decorators. They would be trained via a traditional two or three year apprentice scheme. We have been looking for six months now but have only had one application. We have contacted our local colleges and job centres they have not been able to help. We've also gone to organisations that are supposed to help young people such as Connexions and they haven't been able to help.

We really believe in offering a good training. Our last two apprentices are now working for us full-time and are also taking courses to learn new skills.

The scheme that's being announced today is all well and good, but it's no use at all if there isn't a supply of young people coming forward. We are constantly looking, but can't find the right young people to train and that is holding us back. I also don't understand why this new scheme isn't being implemented right away. Why wait six months? Peter Lindsley, Towcester

I am an employer and a training provider in one of the UK's cities with the highest levels of unemployment - Hull in the east of Yorkshire. What young people need is a clear career path with a trusted employer where they can learn and develop work skills and ethics that will carry them through their lives up to retirement. All of us lucky enough to have experienced this know how valuable this is in terms of self esteem, value of money and respect for others. Margaret Wingfield, Hull

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