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Miliband: Train or lose your benefits

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband

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YOUNG jobseekers in Uttoxeter could risk having their benefits cut unless they pursue further education.

The plan, unveiled by Labour leader Ed Miliband, will mean that young adults aged between 18 and 21 will no longer qualify to receive jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) or income support if they have qualifications below level 3.

Under the new proposals, jobseekers in the 18 to 21 age bracket will instead be entitled to a ‘youth allowance’ to encourage them with their education.

The new benefit gives the same amount of money to the jobseeker as the previous allowance, but the recipient must be receiving training for work or in further education to qualify.

Anyone wishing to claim the new allowance would also only be considered if their parents’ income added up to less than £42,000 a year.

This is under Labour’s presumption that 18 to 21-year-olds who are not yet in employment would be supported by their parents.

The proposal aims to encourage young people to find work by acquiring the skills and training needed that may be necessary for the job.

It is also the hope that businesses in East Staffordshire and across the country would be more likely to employ young people with less experience if they were receiving the allowance.

The new proposals, which have been issued by the Labour party, read: “Our goal should be for all young people to be earning or learning, with none allowed to remain NEET (not in employment, education or training) for long periods.”

Commenting on Ed Miliband’s speech at the ‘Condition of Britain’ report launch, Chris Plant, director of Burton and District Chamber of Commerce which covers Uttoxeter, said youth training allowance proposals could help tackle confidence gap for youths trying to gain employment.

He told the Post and Times: “Giving 18 to 21 year olds training allowances rather than unemployment benefits will be an attractive idea to many in the business community, who express concern that young people often don’t have the right skills to succeed in the world of work.

“The acid test will be whether these proposals help to address the confidence gap between businesses and young people.

“As our own Skills Manifesto has shown, companies aren’t confident when recruiting school-leavers and young people feel that businesses don’t give them a chance.

“If a new training-focused Youth Allowance can help tackle the confidence gap between young people and firms, it could receive real support from companies across the UK.”

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