- 'I just wanted to say a big thank you to you and especially Sophie Harris who has helped me this July to secure my position.'
The Guardian have published this article which explains, what the government are planning to do to tackle unemployment for those between the ages of 18 -21. It highlights that it will only punish those who don't participate in the 'boot camp', because the plans are to abolish payment benefits for able-bodied those between 18-21 who are out of work for 3 months.
“We are penalising nobody because nobody who does the right thing and plays by the rules will lose their benefits,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday. “In fact this is about giving more support to young people.”
They will get an initial three-week intensive course of practising job applications and interviews, which will then be regularly reviewed by a dedicated job coach.
In a challenge to Labour, Hancock has now written to all four leadership candidates urging them to get behind the government’s plans.
Labour had a slightly different policy before the election, which promised a paid starter job to every young person out of work for more than 12 months, but still threatened they would lose benefits if this was not taken up.
The party’s future position will be a matter for the new Labour leader, but the candidates are unlikely to endorse a government scheme involving rhetoric that suggests some young people are workshy and making excuses not to get jobs.
The subject of benefits is also particularly sensitive since a row over the decision of acting leader, Harriet Harman, to abstain on the government’s welfare bill in July.
Since then, the leftwing frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn has explicitly said he would oppose the government’s move to take housing benefit away from 18- to 21-year-olds, while Andy Burnham has also been critical of the policy.
Responding to the announcement, a spokesman for the Corbyn campaign said: “This is another punitive turn by this Conservative government that is failing young people. They have cut further education places, driven a punitive welfare regime that has failed to reduce youth unemployment, and are raising university fees and taking away grants.
Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall have said welfare cuts need to be approached in a fairer, more Labour way.
Setting out his plans, Hancock suggested some young people were part of a “welfare culture that is embedded in some of Britain’s most vulnerable communities”.
“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.”
The idea of boot camps for young people without jobs is not a new one. The Conservative party previously suggested it in 2008, when the then shadow welfare spokesman Chris Grayling announced that the party wanted to “abolish benefit payments for any able-bodied person under 21 who is out of work for more than three months”.
If this new government plan is successful, hopefully unemployment rates will continue to fall and benefits from this will follow behind!