From education to employment

Young people must take part in fulltime work-related activity or their benefits will be stopped.

NEETs will face losing their benefits if they do not undertake at least four weeks of full time work, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions James Purnell told the House of Commons.

From next April, every young person who has not been in employment, education or training for at least 26 weeks by their 18th birthday will be fast tracked to the intensive, Jobcentre Plus led, support and sanctions regime. They will have to prove that they are actively looking for work and engaging in work related activity – if they dont their benefits will be stopped.

If they fail to find work during the next six months, they will be referred to a specialist provider from the voluntary or private sector who will ensure that they undertake a minimum of four weeks full time work-related activity relevant to the individual. The Department of Work and Pensions confirmed there is no choice for the young person, who will have to seek work or face losing their benefit.

The work-related activity will be tailored to the young person’s individual needs to help prepare them to enter the workplace and may include work on a project of benefit to the local community, work experience or a work placement.

James Purnell said: “The message that I want to give to young people is that they are expected to work for their money. Many young people have never experienced the world of work and this often works against them when looking for employment. We want to break down the barriers that young people face. Everyone has a talent, something to offer their community, by making work part of the deal for getting their benefits we can help them to realise their potential.”

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