Up to 100,000 people will see their benefits cut to pay for David Camerons plans for three million new apprentices.
The PM is to reveal “difficult decisions on welfare” are at the heart of a £1billion back-to-work drive. And he will call on Britain’s top 100 firms to do their bit by hiring young workers.
More than £250million a year for the scheme will come from a lower welfare cap and cuts to housing benefits for jobless 18 to 21-year-olds
Both moves were outlined by the Chancellor earlier this month. But the Government last night revealed the benefit cap cut – from £26,000 to £23,000 – would affect 70,000 people. And axing housing benefit from out-of-work youngsters will hit 30,000.
The savings will be used to support firms taking workers on.
The PM said “This is a key part of our plan to secure a better future for Britain. It will help give us the skills to compete with the rest of the world.” Critics last night said the PM should force British firms to do more. Only 65 out of the 91 UK firms in the FTSE 100 have an apprentice on their books.
Last night the Federation of Small Business said “The future prosperity of the UK economy relies on our young people having the keys to business success. That means hands-on experience in the workplace.”
In the 1960’s and 1970’s we had the infrastructure of firms taking on young people, but our economy was declining because of too many reasons to go into in this post. Are we supposed to believe this step, with our industry so shrivelled, will eventually help to “cure our ills” and help us compete in a “dog eat dog” world economy. Three million apprentices is a very tall order, to say the least – and how many would be in wealth creating roles!.