ong-term unemployment is damaging to individuals and communities, it affects mental and physical health, and holds back economic growth.
We want to help people into work and make sure that work pays. In return, people on out-of-work benefits need to take the opportunities available to them to move off benefits and into work.
Out of work older people can find it more difficult to get a job and they are more likely than younger people to remain unemployed for longer.
We are making a number of welfare to work reforms which aim to fight poverty, support the most vulnerable and help people break the cycle of benefit dependency.
Introducing measures to give Jobcentre Plus flexibility in helping people back to work
To help people get back into work we have introduced a series of measures to give Jobcentre Plus some choice over what support to offer to claimants in their area based on claimant and local labour market characteristics.
We are working with back to work service providers, local authorities, training providers and employers to find innovative ways to help people back to work.
Managing the Work Programme
We have introduced the Work Programme to replace a range of employment schemes, pilots and projects. It provides personalised support for claimants who need more help to find and stay in work.
We will pay back to work service providers according to the results they achieve. Their contracts will include incentives to support those who need more help to get into work than others, such as the long-term unemployed or disabled people.
Helping young people into work through the Youth Contract
We introduced a £1 billion Youth Contract in April 2012 to help young unemployed people get a job. The Youth Contract is a range of support to make it easier for businesses to give young unemployed people a job, training or work experience. It will provide nearly half a million new opportunities for 18 to 24 year olds, including apprenticeships and voluntary work experience placements.
Businesses can benefit from supporting the Youth Contract in many ways including financially. We give employers financial help if they take on a young person through Jobcentre Plus or the Work Programme in a job lasting more than 26 weeks. This is known as a wage incentive and is worth up to:
£1,137.50 for part-time work between 16 and 29 hours a week
£2,275 for full-time work of 30 hours or more a week