THE Government’s latest attempt to increase the number of youngsters in education, employment or training needs “radical change” to be more successful, a committee of MPs urged today.
And Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman led calls to look at how other countries handle the problems of young jobless.
Some progress has been made in helping 16 to 24-year-olds, but policies should be extended to cover a wider age range, said the Children, Schools and Families Committee.
One suggestion was a system used in Holland where the equivalent of the Jobseeker’s Allowance was dependent on compulsory participation in work, education or training.
The MPs said many young jobseekers needed better advice on claiming benefits and housing support or on health matters.
Rewards and incentives offered by the Government to increase employment, training or education among 16 to 18-year-olds were not sufficient to drive widespread improvement.
The Government should consider strengthening the incentives offered to local authorities which were successful in raising rates of participation, the MPs said.
Committee chairman Mr Sheerman said: “The Government has to ask itself why the proportion of 16 to 18-year-olds not in education, employment or training has remained at around 10%, despite one policy strategy after another.
“Achieving the necessary breakthrough by significantly reducing the numbers of young people falling through the gap will be a key challenge for the next Government.”