§ Mr. Simpson
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what provision is made for benefit entitlement for young people who are unable to take up a training place because of the non-availability of places.
§ Mr. Burt
The Government remain committed to the guarantee of offering all 16 and 17-year-olds a youth training place. However, the most vulnerable groups of young people have entitlement to income support at all times. This includes couples with children, lone parents looking after a child, those people who are registered as blind, those incapable of work or YT because of disability, and carers. For those for whom a YT place cannot be found immediately, financial support is available as follows:
- i. Parents of recent school leavers living at home can claim an extension of child benefit for up to 16 weeks. Those who are estranged from their families can claim income support during the same period.
- ii. Income support is available under the severe hardship provision where a young person would otherwise suffer severe hardship because of the lack of financial support. This applies not only to the homeless, but also to those living independently and to those whose parents may have difficulty supporting them.