HARD-UP Yorkshire parents are struggling to support their teenagers' needs, according to research out today.
Low household incomes and debt make it difficult for many families to make ends meet, according to the report from the Learning and Skills Council.
The research shows that 44% of parents from Yorkshire and Humber say it is difficult to bring up teenagers aged 16 to 19 years.
The report says parents with children in this age group spend an average of £1,808 a year or £34 a week on each child in this age group.
But in households with an income of up to £30,000 a year it is just £12 a week, according to the research commissioned to highlight the financial barriers young people face to remaining in education and training.
The LSC is encouraging young people to stay on in education and apply for the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) which young people can use on essential travel to college, lunches, course trips and materials.
With EMA, 16 to 19 year olds can gain up to £30 a week, plus bonuses worth up to £500 over two years, providing their household income is less than £30,000 a year.
Education minister Maria Eagle said: "EMA makes a difference. I urge anyone tempted to drop out of education into low paid work to think again and anyone who has already done so to find out about courses at college and how EMA can help them."
Trevor Fellowes, director of learner support at the Learning and Skills Council, which operates the scheme said: "Far from being spent on luxuries, young people can use their EMA to pay for essential travel to and from college, lunches, course trips and the books and equipment needed."
EMA is available at colleges, schools and sixth form centres to study vocational or academic courses.
Application forms can be obtained from schools, colleges and Connexions centres or by calling 0808 10 16219 or by logging on to www.direct. gov.uk/ema.
In the first term of this academic year more than 380,000 young people have received an EMA payment.