Government announces employment support boost for over 30,000 economically inactive young people

The expansion of the Youth Offer to inactive claimants, for the first time, will begin immediately to help young people into work and improve wellbeing

Employment support boost for 16 to 24 year olds

  • Department for Work and Pensions’ Youth Offer to expand, providing tens of thousands more young people support to find work.
  • More young people claiming Universal Credit will have access to jobs support – including Work Coaches and interview preparation assistance.

Tens of thousands of 16-24-year-olds will be given access to additional support in finding and securing work following the expansion of the Department for Work and Pensions’ Youth Offer, it has been announced today [Monday 25 September].

Despite youth unemployment being down by over 43% since 2010, young people are more likely to be economically inactive than the rest of the population. Today’s announcement expands the DWP’s Youth Offer to economically inactive claimants, who were previously ineligible, as part of welfare reforms the Government is introducing to reduce economic inactivity and help more people back into work.

The Youth Offer is an integral part of support offered to young Universal Credit claimants which until today was only available to young people deemed closest to work. The expansion will see this support offered to thousands of economically inactive claimants – those who are seen as further away from and who face more challenges finding long term work.

This will give over 30,000 of 16-24-year-olds the option to access three types of support through the Youth Offer: additional time with a Work Coach early in their claim; access to Youth Hubs; and Youth Employability Coaches.

Evidence shows that work is an effective way to improve wellbeing. This ranges from reducing the risk of depression to improving physical health, as well as helping to build self-confidence and providing a place where people can socialise and form friendships.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride MP said:

"My department is introducing the next generation of welfare reforms to reduce economic inactivity and help thousands more people into work.

"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."

The Youth Offer consists of three key elements, the cornerstone of which is offering claimants additional Work Coach time early in their claim and help in referring young people to the appropriate support.

Work coaches give claimants support, guidance, and advice to get into work. This could range from identifying transferable skills which fit the local job market, updating CVs and interview coaching.

Alongside this, Youth Hubs across Great Britain give advice and guidance to young people seeking work, and some offer this help on a drop-in basis. They are located within other organisations to provide access to more services in one location.

Young claimants with more serious and complex barriers to work, such as problems with addiction or finding somewhere permanent to live also have access to Youth Employability Coaches. These coaches can provide tailored and intensive support to young claimants before, during and after they have entered work, which alongside the other aspects of the Youth Offer, help to ensure that everyone can enjoy the physical and mental benefits of good employment, regardless of their situation.

Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression, Mims Davies MP said:

"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.

"We are delivering for young people across the country, and I’m delighted that tens of thousands of them will be able to access life-changing support to progress in employment through the expanded DWP Youth Offer."

Barry Fletcher, CEO of Youth Futures Foundation said:

"We welcome the extension of the Youth Offer, which will provide support to more young people in their search for a job.

"Evidence shows that some groups of young people, including young parents and carers, face additional challenges in their search for work and we are pleased to see the start of the expansion today, enabling more young people to benefit from the accessibility of Youth Hubs and the guidance specialist coaches can provide."

Today’s expansion is part of the £3.5 billion package of measures announced in the 2023 Spring Statement from the Chancellor to get more people into work. This includes £485 million of investment in support for unemployed people who are on Universal Credit, as well as people working less than full time hours.

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

Department for Work and Pensions