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Youth unemployment 3: apprenticeship scheme to target young and 'difficult'


The report released today by The Work and Pensions Committee on Youth Unemployment and the Youth Contract has a major focus on apprenticeships.

The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers 16-24 (AGE 16-24) is designed to incentivise smaller employers to take on young apprentices. It is available to employers through the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS). Employers of fewer than 250 employees can claim up to three £1,500 grants for taking on apprentices aged 16-24. Only those employers who have not taken on an apprentice in the past three years are eligible for the grant.

AGE 16-24 predates the Youth Contract, but the Youth Contract doubles the number of grants available from 20,000 to 40,000, says the DWP.

The report has welcomed the attempt by the Government through AGE 16-24 to increase the number of young people taken on as apprentices. However, concerns remain that apprenticeships may not offer the right support for young people furthest from the labour market, who may have no qualifications or experience and come from "difficult" backgrounds.