Unemployment benefits to be earned through community work

by Mark Sheppard

Unemployed young people will have to do community work to gain benefits if the Conservatives win the General Election in May.

David Cameron has said all 18-21-year-olds who have been without a job, training or education for six months will no longer be able to claim benefits until they begin an apprenticeship or complete community work.

This is part of the Conservatives’ scheme to reduce youth unemployment and limit the amount of benefits available to those who lack the motivation to work, making sure they “don’t get sucked into a life on welfare”.

Harry Bibby, 18, said: “Paid community work is a good idea as it will help to give people an idea of what it is really like to have a responsibility and to earn money.”

Young people who have been out of work for six months will no longer be able to claim job seekers allowance, but completing the community work means they will be paid £57.35 per week at roughly the same rate as job seekers allowance.

In order to receive this allowance they will have to complete a total of 30 hours community work, in addition to 10 hours spent looking for a job per week from the first day of claiming.

The Tories also plan to cap benefit costs at £23,000 and this will help to fund three million apprenticeships.

Mr Bibby said, “This encourages people to actually work for a living, as opposed to living off a low amount of money.

“Apprenticeships provide money and experience and it means that people will be able to train for even higher jobs and get qualifications.”

These plans rest on the upcoming election but should the Conservatives win, David Cameron is hoping this new scheme will help young people to create opportunities for themselves.

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