Responding to the Work and Pensions Select Committee conclusions on the Youth Contract and youth unemployment, Cllr Peter Box, Chair of the LGA's Economy and Transport Board, said:
"We welcome the committee's conclusions that the Youth Contract cannot address the high level of youth unemployment on its own and that young people need effective support from government. The LGA has previously made clear that a nationally-driven, one-size-fits-all approach to tackling youth unemployment is not working.
"We are encouraged the committee has recognised support can only be effective if it is coordinated and tailored around the local services, learning providers and the jobs available to young people. Local authorities are already working hard to reengage young people back into work, education or training. It's now vital that Government makes sure organisations that it selected to deliver Youth Contract provision in local areas work closely with councils who are already working hard to support Raising Participation Age for every 16 and 17-year-old. This will ensure that youth contract provision is integrated into councils' wider local efforts to support full participation.
"We are concerned that, all too often, organisations with little knowledge about the local factors which are driving youth disengagement, cannot provide effective support for young people out of work or learning. Failure to get this right will not only be an ineffective way of using vital public money but could be disastrous for young people and risks doing more harm than good."
Author: LGA Media Office
Contact: Sarah Read, Local Government Association Media Office, Telephone: 020 7664 3333
23 October 2012