I am not an expert on youth unemployment, and I try in these blogs to be factual and informative rather than campaign on particular issues.
But, for goodness sake, and from direct first hand experience of how tough it is out there for families, I would say to the government: PLEASE don’t make the help for young people come at the expense of supporting familes with young children who receive Working Tax Credit.
I have spent this week running a Take three days W2W programme with mothers, mainly lone parents, in East London. They are trying so hard to get back to work. These are women who are spending hours each day looking on-line, knocking on doors, going on courses, volunteering, and sending out CVs and application forms. Their three big concerns are
- The cost of childcare
- Making sure work pays
- That employers will want younger people with work experience
The coalition government’s reduction in childcare support for working families has been a big blow to lone parents. If this is combined with a cut in the uprating of WTC and direct subsidies for young people with-out any extra help for lone parents they feel that the ladder is being pulled out from under them as they are struggling to get their foot on the first rung.
And remember Lone Parents attract no extra premium on the Work Programme.
Everyone who is out of work needs support commensurate with the barriers they face. It is certainly right to help young people. But not at the expense of those who have children.