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Jobless Young Adults Will Lose Benefits If They Don't Do Jobs 'Boot Camp' To Prepare Them For The Workforce, Minister Warns

17/08/2015 08:01 | Updated 17 August 2015

Jobless young adults will face losing benefits unless they take part in a "boot camp" to get them ready for the world of work, the Government's "Earn or Learn" taskforce has said.

Cabinet Office minister Matthew Hancock claimed the measure was an attempt to stem some communities' "welfare culture", and that he would be instituting a "no excuses" approach.

Under the plans, targeted at 18 to 21-year-olds, those claiming out-of-work benefit will be forced to take up a 3-week 'Intensive Activity Programme' (IAP) to help them move off welfare support payments and back into sustainable employment.

The 71-hour programme - pro-actively being described as a "boot camp" by officials - includes practicing job applications and interview techniques.

youth unemployment uk

Jobless young adults will face losing their benefits if they don't take part in job readiness "boot camp"

A dedicated "work coach" will help jobseekers and review what they achieve during the initial course, the Cabinet Office said.

Hancock's taskforce, which includes both Iain Duncan Smith and Nicky Morgan, will implement measures including the requirement for young claimants to take a job, apprenticeship, traineeship or unpaid work experience or face losing benefits.

Labour's new leader, who is not due to be elected until September, will choose how the party should respond to Hancock's new programme.

But its MPs remain divided over welfare issues, after over a fifth of parliamentarians defied an edict from interim leader Harriet Harman to abstain in the Government's Welfare Bill vote last month.

Speaking on Sunday, Hancock said: "We are determined to fulfill our commitments to end the welfare culture that is embedded in some of Britain's most vulnerable communities.

"By working across Government to make sure that every young person is in work or training, by opening up three million more apprenticeships, expanding traineeships, and making sure that a life on benefits is simply not an option, we want to end rolling welfare dependency for good, so welfare dependency is no longer passed down the generations.

"We are absolutely committed to ending long-term youth unemployment and building a country for workers, where nobody is defined by birth and everyone can achieve their potential."

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