The plan will see 3 million apprenticeships created over the next Parliament. The plan also sees access to Jobseeker’s Allowance for 18-21 year olds abolished and replaced with a Youth Allowance, time-limited to six months, after which young people will have to take an Apprenticeship, a Traineeship, or do daily community work for their benefits.
This will be funded by reducing the Household Benefit Cap from £26,000 per household to £23,000. It will also no longer be possible for most unemployed 18-21 year olds to claim Housing Benefit in order to leave home. And we will continue to replace lower level, classroom-based further education courses with high quality apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships combine training with experience of work and a wage. But at the moment there is more demand for apprenticeships than supply. We will fund the creation of 3 million new apprenticeships over the course of the next Parliament.
Most young people find a job quickly. But those young people who still don’t have a job after spending six months on Youth Allowance will have to choose between taking an Apprenticeship, a Traineeship that leads to an Apprenticeship – or doing daily community work. This last option will help young people useful gain experience of the world of work and enable them to put something back into their community too. There will be no option to continue on benefits if this offer is refused.
The Prime Minister said: ‘We’ve already created nearly two million apprenticeships. But as part of our long-term economic plan we now want to go further and today make a commitment to deliver three million apprenticeships by the end of the next Parliament. On top of that, if a young person has been unemployed for six months they will have to work for their dole.’ ‘Our plans will give hundreds of thousands of young people the opportunity of a better, more secure future. And we will pay for it by cutting the benefit cap and stopping most young people from claiming Housing Benefit.’
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said: ‘Our mission is not just to save the pounds in government, important though that is; we are also trying to change the welfare system so that it does not trap people in poverty and a culture of dependency. So at this conference we are setting out an ambitious plan to abolish long term youth unemployment, to say it is not acceptable for young people to go from school straight to benefits.’
‘We will use the money saved to invest in young people and give them a chance. Being trapped in a culture of dependency is a tragedy for them and a huge waste of potential for this country. So we are putting money into apprenticeships, putting money into people’s future and giving them the tools to succeed.’