‘Truly shocking’ findings of charity’s report into government’s Youth Obligation programme
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21 May 2019
A Wirral MP has
described the findings of research carried out by Centrepoint into the
government’s Youth Obligation programme as ‘truly shocking’.
Greenwood MP was speaking at the launch of a report by Centrepoint – a youth
homelessness charity – on
the impact of the Youth Obligation on disadvantaged young people.
Obligation is designed to support young people aged 18 to 21 making a new
Universal Credit claim into employment, work-related training or an
apprenticeship. All young people claiming Universal Credit in that age group
are required to go on the programme.
programme begins with the Intensive Activity Programme (IAP) which is a series
of workshops designed to improve job search and interview skills. Following
this, the young person will attend regular work search reviews and receive
continued coaching over the six-month period. After this time, if the young
person is still unemployed, they should be offered a sector-based work
placement or encouraged to take up a traineeship.
looked at the experiences of disadvantaged young people and found that one in
five young people of those surveyed were unaware that they were even
taking part in the Youth Obligation.
showed that 40% of the young people who took part in the research left
the programme as they were unable to continue due to issues including
homelessness and mental health problems.
report also found that the vast majority (92%) of young people who were
still on the Youth Obligation at the six-month point were not offered a
traineeship, a place on a sector-based work academy or a work placement at the
end of the Youth Obligation.
the event, Margaret Greenwood MP, who is also Shadow Secretary of State for
Work and Pensions, said:
of Centrepoint’s research are truly shocking: after
six months on the Youth Obligation, only one in 10 of the young people who
took part in the research were in work or training.
people are our responsibility and the government should give them a fair chance
at gaining employment.
“This report, commissioned by Centrepoint,
and carried out by researchers at the University of Warwick, has provided
important insights into the shortcomings of the Youth Obligation and how it
could be improved. I really do hope that the government takes note.”
Noblet, Head of Public Affairs at Centrepoint, said:
Youth Obligation should be an opportunity for young people to gain new skills
and grow their confidence but the current system simply isn't working.
the moment the Youth Obligation is being treated as the Cinderella of
employment schemes. Without greater focus and investment by government the
scheme will continue to fail vulnerable young people, including many who find
themselves furthest from the workplace.”