In a move to tackle youth unemployment and enhance the overall wellbeing of young people, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has unveiled plans to expand its Youth Offer program.

This expansion will provide employment support to over 30,000 economically inactive 16 to 24-year-olds across the UK, marking a pivotal step in the government’s welfare reform agenda.

Historically, young people have faced greater challenges in accessing employment opportunities compared to the broader population.

Despite significant reductions in youth unemployment over the past decade, there is still a concerning proportion of young individuals who remain economically inactive.

The latest announcement aims to address this issue head-on by extending the reach of the DWP’s Youth Offer.

What does the Youth Offer include?

The Youth Offer, initially designed to support young Universal Credit claimants closest to work, will now encompass economically inactive claimants who face more substantial hurdles in securing long-term employment. This expansion will empower these young individuals by offering them three distinct forms of support: additional time with a Work Coach early in their claim, access to Youth Hubs, and Youth Employability Coaches.

Research has consistently shown that employment not only contributes to financial stability but also plays a crucial role in improving overall wellbeing. This includes reducing the risk of depression, enhancing physical health, boosting self-confidence, and facilitating social interactions and friendships.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride MP, emphasised the transformative impact of this initiative, stating, “Expanding the Youth Offer will not only help to grow the economy, it will change lives – providing more young people with the pay, purpose, and mental health advantages that we know work brings.”

Invaluable support

The cornerstone of the Youth Offer is the provision of additional Work Coach time during the early stages of a claim. Work Coaches offer invaluable support and guidance, ranging from identifying transferable skills that align with the local job market to assisting with CV updates and interview coaching.

Youth Hubs, located across Great Britain, offer advice and guidance to young job seekers, often available on a drop-in basis. These hubs are strategically situated within other organisations, providing access to multiple services in a single location.

For young claimants facing more complex barriers to employment, such as addiction or housing instability, Youth Employability Coaches will be available. These specialised coaches will offer tailored and intensive support before, during, and after individuals enter the workforce.

Minister for Social Mobility, Youth, and Progression, Mims Davies MP, highlighted the significance of the expanded Youth Offer, stating, “The best way to get on in life, improve wellbeing, and make friends is through work, and the expanded DWP Youth Offer gives our young people the key tools and support they need to find fulfilling and meaningful work.”

Barry Fletcher, CEO of Youth Futures Foundation, welcomed the extension of the Youth Offer, emphasising the importance of accessibility for various groups of young people, including young parents and carers.

An increased investment

Today’s expansion aligns with the £3.5 billion package of measures announced in the 2023 Spring Statement by the Chancellor, aimed at increasing employment opportunities. This package includes £485 million of investment in support for unemployed individuals on Universal Credit and those working less than full-time hours.

For more information on applying for Universal Credit and accessing the Youth Offer, interested individuals can visit the official website of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The government’s commitment to enhancing youth employment prospects and overall wellbeing is evident in this expansion of the Youth Offer, as thousands of economically inactive young people are set to benefit from comprehensive support on their journey to meaningful employment and improved life satisfaction.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.