Employment minister Chris Grayling has outlined new plans to tackle youth unemployment and stressed the importance of helping youngsters into work to help boost the economic rebound.

Under the proposals, young people will be allowed to take work experience placements of up to eight weeks before having jobless benefits cut, thereby theoretically making the scheme worthwhile for employers and individuals.

“This government is making the changes that will give young people access to jobs and opportunities that can help them towards a brighter future,” he said. “Tackling youth unemployment is crucial for the future of our country.”

Mr Grayling accused the previous Labour administration of leaving a “ticking time bomb” with official data putting the number of people aged under 24 who have never worked since leaving education at around 600,000.

Last week, former prime minister Gordon Brown claimed in a lecture in London that youth unemployment was a global issue and should be a key priority for the G20 group of nations.

Posted by Hayley Edwards