The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced the expansion of its Youth Offer programme, aiming to aid more than 30,000 economically inactive young individuals aged 16-24 in their quest for employment.

Despite a decline of over 43% in youth unemployment since 2010, statistics reveal that young individuals remain more likely to be economically inactive in comparison to the general populace. In a bid to address this disparity and support youth welfare, the DWP’s Youth Offer, which previously catered only to those closest to the workforce, will now extend its services to economically inactive claimants. This demographic, perceived as facing greater challenges in procuring long-term employment, were priorly deemed ineligible.

The broadened Youth Offer will present these young claimants with three primary forms of assistance:

  1. Extended consultation with a Work Coach early into their claim.
  2. Access to Youth Hubs that provide advice and guidance.
  3. Support from Youth Employability Coaches, catering to those with more profound obstacles to employment, such as addiction issues or housing insecurities.

Work Coaches are tasked with offering claimants counsel, steering, and insight to facilitate their entry into the workforce. Their responsibilities range from pinpointing transferrable skills apt for the local job market to CV revisions and honing interview skills. Supplementing these efforts, Youth Hubs situated across Great Britain offer advice to young job seekers, with some operating on a drop-in basis and collaborating with other establishments to deliver a wide range of services.

Research highlights the manifold benefits of employment, from bolstering physical health and reducing depression risks to nurturing self-confidence and fostering social connections.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride MP, commented on the expansion: “Expanding the Youth Offer will not only boost the economy but will also transform lives, granting more young individuals the monetary, purposeful, and mental health advantages intrinsic to employment.”

Meanwhile, Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression, Mims Davies MP, added that the enlarged DWP Youth Offer will equip young people with essential tools and backing, helping them secure significant and valuable employment.

Endorsing the enhancement of the Youth Offer, Barry Fletcher, the CEO of Youth Futures Foundation, stated, “We commend the extension of the Youth Offer, which will aid more young individuals in their employment pursuits.” Fletcher further acknowledged the challenges faced by specific youth groups, such as young parents and carers, applauding the increased availability of Youth Hubs and expert coaching.

This expansion forms a segment of a £3.5 billion initiative, unveiled in the 2023 Spring Statement by the Chancellor, devised to usher more individuals into the workforce. The scheme encompasses a £485 million investment dedicated to supporting those unemployed and on Universal Credit or those working less than full-time hours.

For more information about how you can apply for Universal Credit and access the Youth Offer see here.