A necessary and thoughtful shot across the bows of the latest One Nation Labour’s ploy re youth unemployment by Martin Allen and Patrick Ainley. As they underline the fundamental dilemma is not one of skills shortages, but a lack of jobs.
Labour proposes to make unemployed young people between 18-21, without a level 3 (equivalent to A-level) qualification ineligible for Job Seekers Allowance (70% of current youth claimants are in this category). Identified as a further rolling back of the welfare state by most critics –it’s been unveiled alongside plans to make eligibility for full JSA dependent on 5 rather than 2 years of National Insurance payments –it also represents a further change in thinking in relation to labour market and skills policy.
Labour has taken its cue from the centre-left think-tank the IPPR’s argument that because JSA eligibility requires claimants to be available for work it therefore prevents unemployed young people from signing up for more training. The IPPR (and now Labour) wants to create a distinct ‘work, training and benefits track’ for those who do not attend university. Young people who do sign up for level 3 courses (likely…
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