The Conservative Party has said it will tackle youth unemployment and introduce a new training scheme to help young people get ready for work – a move the Centre for Social Justice recommended in its recent report The Journey to Work.
It was one of several announcements made during party conferences which were inspired by the CSJ's recent Breakthrough Britain 2015 investigation into poverty.
Chancellor George Osborne said the party wanted to "abolish" long-term youth unemployment and would introduce a youth allowance which would replace Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).
Unemployed 18 to 21-year olds would be given six months to find work or training. Their JSA payments would be withdrawn unless they agreed to take part in "community projects", which could include work or apprenticeships.
In The Journey to Work, the CSJ called for a similar scheme and urged politicians to make tackling youth unemployment a "moral mission".
The CSJ's ambitious four-stage blueprint outlined plans to help and support young people develop work skills and training from primary school through to adulthood.
In this report the CSJ called for a new community wage’ which would see young people train with voluntary and private sector organisations on full-time placements. The Government would pay their welfare entitlements to the provider who would pass on the community wage to replicate the conditions of a workplace.
CSJ Director Christian Guy said: “No longer should we be content to assume some young people are destined for the dole.
"By ensuring that everyone does something – the ‘earn or learn principle’ – the chances of the next generation ending up out of work are much reduced.”
Also at conference, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith announced that pre-paid benefit cards would be given to some of the most vulnerable people, such as drug addicts with families. The CSJ called for the trial of this in the report Ambitious for Recovery, published in August. He also announced Universal Credit will be accelerated in 2015, with a national roll-out of the consolidated benefit system in February.