Young unemployed people will be forced to attend a three-week "boot camp" to help them get back into work or risk losing their benefits under a new government scheme. Cabinet Office minister Matthew Hancock said the plan to put 18-21-year-olds "through their paces" with a series of classes and interview practice is part of a plan to cut down on a "welfare culture" in some areas.
As part of the new initiative, to be introduced from April 2017, young people claiming unemployment benefits will begin Intensive Activity Programme (IAP) within three weeks of the start of their first claim. The "boot camp" will consist of 71 hours of help with interview techniques and practising job applications. A dedicated "work coach" will also be on hand to review the process of the jobseekers during the three-week course. Hancock said the "earn or learn" task force that he chairs will have a "no-excuses" approach towards youth unemployment.
Hancock said: "We are determined to fulfil 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."