A new report from IPPR looks at five critical elements of the school-to-work transition for young people – the role of employers, vocational education, apprenticeships, careers guidance, and the benefits system – and at lessons the UK can learn from European economies with better youth employment records.
In a speech delivered in London, Iain Duncan Smith restated his determination to transform Britain's welfare system.
He said that changes so far had played a key role in getting people back into work and ending a welfare dependency culture, insisting that the government is “delivering” after Labour left “whole sections of society on the sidelines”.
Youth unemployment has seen the largest annual fall since records began 30 years ago – alongside the steepest annual fall in unemployment in a quarter of a century, figures published by the Office for National Statistics show.
Youth unemployment has fallen by 206,000 over the past year, which is the largest drop since records began in 1984, bringing it to the lowest level for nearly 6 years. The youth unemployment rate is down 4.5 percentage points compared to a year ago.
Official figures for the first quarter of 2014 showed sanctions on Employment and Support Allowance claimants were some 4.5 times higher than in the same quarter in 2013 - although the 2014 figure still includes those appealing.
Only ESA claimants in the work-related activity group, where an adviser assists them with training and skills, can be subject to sanctions, which are handed out for failing to attend a mandatory interview or failing to take part in a work-related activity.
New analysis published by the TUC has shown that the majority of claimants who will be hit by the government’s new five-week wait welfare reform are short-term claimants who only claim the benefit for a few weeks. The full analysis, undertaken by the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion, can be found here.
George Osborne has announced plans to transform the North of England into an economic "powerhouse" with an investment of up to £15 billion.
The chancellor was speaking in Manchester where he met the leaders of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield to discuss a new report calling for greater connectivity between them.
New immigrants from the EU will only be able to claim welfare payments for three months under new plans by David Cameron.
The prime minister has announced the further tightening of the rules for new arrivals claiming benefits, saying that the "magnetic pull" of UK benefits had to be addressed so people came for the right reasons and the rules "put Britain first".
Three disgruntled former civil servants have set up a website offering emergency advice to welfare claimants who believe their benefits have been wrongly docked.
The three women behind the initiative, who have remained anonymous, all worked for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) before setting up the website. They allege that many Jobcentre staff are instructed to veto a set proportion of claims, although this allegation is strongly denied by the department.