YOUNG jobseekers in Burton could risk having their benefits cut unless they pursue further education.
The plan, unveiled yesterday 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 18-21 age bracket will instead be entitled to a ‘youth allowance’.
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 would also only be considered if their parents’ income was less than £42,000 a year under Labour’s presumption that 18 to 21-year-olds who are not in employment would be supported by their parents.
The plan aims to encourage people to find work by acquiring the skills and training that may be necessary for the job.
It is also the hope that businesses would be more likely to employ young people with less experience.
The proposals, issued by Labour, 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 Chris Plant, director of Burton and District Chamber, said: “Giving 18 to 21-year-olds training allowances rather than unemployment benefits will be attractive to businesses which express concern that young people often don’t have the right skills to succeed in work.
“The acid test will be whether these proposals help to address the confidence gap between businesses and young people.
“Many companies aren’t confident when recruiting school-leavers and young people feel 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.”