The survey of 200 employers revealed that although 46% were aware of the Youth Contract, they did not intend to use it. Nearly a third (30%) of employers said they were not aware of the Youth Contract at all.
Youth unemployment is a problem in the UK with 950,000 people aged between 16-24 out of work, which is an unemployment rate of 20.5%, according to the latest ONS job statistics.
The Government’s Youth Contract, launched in April 2012, attempts to address this. The £1 billion initiative aims to help unemployed young people find work by offering incentives to organisations that take them on through Jobcentre Plus or the Work Programme. Incentives are also offered to organisations that set up apprenticeship schemes.
REC’s research found the initiative has proven unpopular, with none of the employers surveyed saying they had used it to hire a young person. Nearly a fifth (18%) of employers said they were aware of the Youth Contract and did plan to use it in future, down from 22% in July 2012.
“The Government has the right intentions, but this scheme is being poorly executed. Unless there is a change in delivery, it will make no impact on the high levels of youth unemployment,” REC CEO Kevin Green said.