A report produced by the DWP last November shows that David Cameron’s £20 million scheme forcing young JSA claimants into work will have virtually no effect on their chances of getting paid employment, but will hugely increase their chances of having their benefit being sanctioned.
David Cameron today announced that, if the Conservatives win the election, 50,000 18-21 year olds would have to do daily work experience once they have been out of work, education or training for six months. They will no longer be able to claim JSA, but instead will be paid a ‘youth allowance’ at the same rate. Young people will have to do compulsory community work, such as working for a charity, for 30 hours a week to be eligible for the payments.
However, a report published by the DWP in November 2014 - ‘Day one support for young people trailblazer’ – explained what happened when this scheme was piloted in North and South london between November 2012 and July 2013.
Under the pilot, 18-24 year olds who had not previously completed six months of paid employment since leaving education, were forced to undertake a work experience placement of 30 hours a week beginning on, or soon after, the first day of their claim for JSA.
The results were:
16% of all claimants referred to the scheme had their JSA sanctioned
The 18-24 year old claimant count was 11% lower in the pilot areas
The chances of an 18-24 year old in the pilot areas being in employment four weeks after their claim started increased by just 0.8% and fell to 0% after 8 weeks.
It seems very clear then that this latest idea is all about increasing sanctions and cutting claimant numbers, rather than about helping young people into work.
You can download the full report here