More money and a more co-ordinated response from Government is needed to tackle youth unemployment, according to a leading think tank.
The Work Foundation said the coalition must tackle the recent rise in unemployment among young people and the long-term trend in joblessness.
In a report on the Youth Contract published today, the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee said the Government’s approach is not enough to deal with the issue.
Committee Chair Dame Anne Begg MP, said:
"The Youth Contract is welcome but on its own it will not be enough to address the current unacceptably high level of youth unemployment.
"Young people need effective support from Government to counteract the disadvantage they have long suffered in the labour market but they also need a return to economic growth and a substantial increase in the number of new jobs."
Dr Neil Lee, head of the Socio-Economic Centre at The Work Foundation, said:
"The Youth Contract was an important attempt to address one of the most serious social and economic problems the UK faces.
"The DWP Select Committee has – rightly – argued that more needs to be done. The challenge for the Coalition is not just to address the spike in youth unemployment we’ve seen since the recession, but also to find solutions for the long term rise in unemployment amongst young people.
"Doing so will require both money and a co-ordinated response. The government is yet to show they are up to the challenge."
The committee’s report welcomed the Government’s focus on wage incentives - the key new element of the Youth Contract - on longer term young unemployed claimants.
The MPs said there is “an attempt to achieve sustainable job outcomes by linking wage incentives to the Work Programme payment structure, in which providers are financially incentivised to keep participants in work and off benefits in the longer term”.
The committee also praised the types of interventions which have been shown to have a positive impact: increased Jobcentre Plus adviser support, work experience placements and apprenticeships.