Under new proposals outlined this week by the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, the government will pledge up to £2200 to businesses and charities who offer employment to 16-17 years olds who are currently struggling to find work.

The Government plans to earmark £126 million to fund the new incentive which will form part of the Youth Contract Scheme which was launched last year to help tackle the issue of unemployment amongst young people in the UK.

The new cash incentive will be offered to organisations which hire those aged 16-17 years of aged which fall into the Neets category, (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and those who don’t have any GCSE’s grade C and above.

Businesses will be invited to bid for contracts worth up to £2200 to hire youngsters which fall into the Neet bracket. The companies will be given an initial payment when the young person starts work, and the rest of the money once that newly hired employee has progressed within their role.

The 16-17 year age group has been singled out as the main target for the new employment drive from the Government as recent research found that those who are unemployed during their teens are likely to earn between 12-15% less than their peers in later life. Also, the latest unemployment figures revealed that unemployment in those aged 16-24 years rose by 22,000 to 1.04 million in the last three months to December.

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