A London Assembly Member says unemployed youths on benefits should be required to take up paid apprenticeships where suitable local vacancies exist.
Official labour market statistics show there were 32,230 Londoners under the age of 25 claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) in January at a total cost of £95m per year.
Conservative AM Andrew Boff says whose who apply for JSA should also be required to apply for an apprenticeship and take up any suitable offers.
The successful applicant’s benefit would then be paid to the business providing the apprenticeship while those who fail to accept a suitable offer, or who quit early, would lose their entitlement to JSA.
Mr Boff said: “Sadly, too many of our young people are out of work and risk becoming trapped on benefits. Taxpayers are currently forking out £95m for unemployed young Londoners on Job Seeker’s Allowance, and this is only a fraction of the total JSA bill.
“That’s why I’m calling for this money to be diverted to small businesses to help pay for apprenticeships in the Capital, which are highly sought after by job seekers.”
He added: “Young people should take the opportunity to learn a trade and stick with it. I do not think it’s unreasonable to give benefit sanctions if someone turns down or drops out of suitable paid training.”