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Cameron: Young unemployed must do community work for benefits

Young unemployed people would have to do community work in order to receive benefits under a Conservative government, prime minister David Cameron is due to announce.

Under the proposed plans, those aged 18 to 21 will not be allowed to claim benefits unless they work in the community and do at least 10 hours of job hunting a week.

Cameron will say a Conservative government will take “intensive action” on youth unemployment, and “get rid of that well-worn path” from school to a “life on benefits”.

The ‘Community Work Programme’ will apply to the 50,000 18- to 21-year-olds a year who have not been in employment, education or training for six months before claiming benefits.

Last year, the Conservatives announced they would impose stricter controls on youth benefits if they win the 2015 election, with Cameron saying young people would not be able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance after six months unless they agreed to do community work or an apprenticeship. Today, Cameron will remove the option to spend six months on benefits, saying the requirement to do community work will be from “the very start of their claim”.

Both the Conservatives and Labour Party have previously unveiled plans to replace Jobseeker’s Allowance for young people with a Youth Allowance.

“What these young people need is work experience and the order and discipline of turning up for work each day,” Cameron will say. “So a Conservative government would require them to do daily community work from the very start of their claim, as well as searching for work.

“From day one they must realise that welfare is not a one-way street. Yes we will help them, but there is no more something for nothing. They must give back to their community too.”