HC Deb 09 December 1980 vol 995 cc327-8W
20. Mr. Dubs

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people are currently on youth opportunities programme schemes in inner London; and how many eligible for such schemes are unemployed.

Mr. Jim Lester

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that there were some 2,200 young people participating in the youth opportunities programme and 9,320 registered with more than six weeks unemployment at the October count in Inner London Education Authority boroughs

Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current amount payable in training allowance to a 19-year-old trainee on the youth opportunities programme; and if he will make a statement on how this relates to unemployment pay and supplementary benefits and its effect on whether or not trainees are attracted to the scheme.

Mr. Jim Lester

I am informed by the MSC that the allowance payable to trainees in the youth opportunities programme is £23.50 a week. This compares with the following benefits paid to 19 year olds:

  • Unemployment benefit (single person) £20.65
  • Supplementary benefit (single, non householder) £19.20

The youth opportunities programme has been for 16 to 18-year-olds, although in certain circumstances some 19-year-olds whose entry to the employment market has been delayed for reasons other than continuing formal education could be admitted to the programme. Following my right hon. Friend's announcement on 21 November 1980—[Vol. 994, c. 204–7]—the youth opportunities programme will be focused on 16 and 17-year-olds, although young people up to the age of 24 will be eligible for entry if places are available and it is considered it would be of significant benefit to their employment prospects.