Nick Clegg
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg pledged that Jobcentres will offer job hunting advice to 16- to 17-year-olds Reuters

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has unveiled plans to tackle youth unemployment with a "safety net" to help young people who are out of work and not in education.

The Liberal Democrat leader said he wants to assist Britain's one million Neets (16- 24-year-olds not in education, employment or training) with a package of employment boosting measures.

Clegg pledged, among other things, that Jobcentres will offer work hunting advice to 16- to 17-year-olds, marking a first for the organisation.

Neil Carberry, Confederation of British Industry (CBI) director for employment and skills policy, said: "The government is right to focus on improving careers advice as it remains on life support. Schools cannot do it alone and employers have a key role to play in inspiring young people and preparing them for the workplace."

The plan will also see schools taking a more hands on role with youngsters as they will have a duty to develop close links with local employers in an effort to boost youth employment.

"We're going to issue new guidance in the next few weeks to schools about how to organise their careers advice," Clegg told BBC Breakfast.

He added: "Experience shows one of the best ways to help young people decide what they want to do in the future is to get local business people and others into the local schools and allow students to spend time in a local company or employer so they can decide for themselves."

The move comes after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the UK's youth unemployment rate dipped to 19.9% in the three months to December 2013.

It means that the number of young people out of work decreased by 48,000 to 917,000.

But the ONS said in November last year that there more than a million Neets in Britain.

The figures follow research that revealed almost a quarter of Neets in the UK have never had a job.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a thinktank closely linked to the Labour party, argued that more than a million Neets could be rescued by radical reforms that would not cost the taxpayer "a penny more".