The Youth Contract provides employment support for young people and includes apprenticeships, voluntary work experience placements and an employer wage incentive.

The Youth Contract, combines a variety of schemes to offer support to young people not in employment, education and training (NEET). The Youth Contract includes the following elements:

  • Wage Incentive – a £2,275 subsidy for all employers, but specifically aimed at SMEs who recruit a young person via the Work Programme
  • Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE)  – pre-apprenticeship training support up to £1,500 for taking on a young apprentice
  • Work Experience – eight week placements for 18 to 24 year-olds prior to them entering the Work Programme
  • Sector-based Work Academies – work experience placements combined with work focused training

ERSA’s stance

ERSA is working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Department for Education (DfE) and the Cabinet Office to ensure that the Youth Contract measures are working as effectively as they can. ERSA provided detailed evidence to a Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry into youth unemployment, with many of our recommendations being reflected in the Committee’s final report. ERSA supports the ongoing work of the government to promote the uptake of Youth Contact provision by employers.