Youth job plan may hit older workers

YOUNG jobseekers are to receive £1bn of extra help over the next five years from George Osborne’s new “youth contract” – but the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) believes the measure will fail to bring down overall joblessness.

Those aged between 18 and 24 will get more time with advisers at Jobcentre Plus, will sign in weekly, not fortnightly and receive a careers interview after three months on benefits.

Private sector work experience placements are also intended to help the unemployed back to work, while 160,000 wage incentives, worth £2,275 each, will be given to encourage firms to hire young workers.

However, the Office for Budget Responsibility believes the schemes will not cut overall unemployment.

Although the OBR report says “such a measure could help to reduce unemployment amongst younger age groups,” the effect will merely be one of displacement.

“The targeted younger workers will be employed at the expense of those just outside the age group,” said OBR boss Robert Chote yesterday. “There is a possible trade off here, and we cannot see any net change in employment.”