Private firms set to drive disengaged youngsters back into work through Government scheme

Private companies, including Pertemps, are being enlisted by ministers to help more young people to find the drive to go back to work or college.

Start-to-finish activities will be conducted by the firms involved in the scheme, in order to tackle the high number of 16 and 17 year-olds who are not in education, employment or training.

Members of the so-called "Neet" generation could be woken up by private companies as part of the initiative, which forms a section of the Youth Contract - Nick Clegg's 126 million project.

Mr Clegg revealed more details about the scheme, which seeks to get 55,000 young people back into work or education. The firms and charities involved will be paid based on their results.

For each young person helped, organisations could receive 2,200, but the full sum will be paid only if a person remains in full-time education, work or training half a year later.

Mr Clegg said: "Young people who have fallen through the net need tailored support to get back on track.

"We can't treat them like round pegs being forced into square holes - if you're young and have got to the point where you feel on the scrapheap, you need extra help to succeed in life.

"Disengaged young people often have complex problems that act as a barrier to getting them learning again, which the Government alone can't deal with. But very often local charities and businesses know what's going to help them."

Pertemps People Development Group is set to run a scheme in the North East, and will offer wake-up calls to get young people into a routine. This initiative will also try to engage youngsters and aims to get them to undertake positive activities.

Former soldiers will deliver motivational sessions to young people who are disengaged via another scheme in Yorkshire, which is part of the Heroes to Inspire campaign.

Mr Clegg said those firms chosen to help must "be as creative and innovative as they can, to do whatever it takes, to get the young people who need it most back on their feet".

He added: "In exchange for this freedom, all we ask is that they get results. It's a win-win for the Government, young people and the organisations involved."

The programme, which will last for three years, will focus on "Neets" aged 16 and 17 who have no A* to C GCSEs and who are at the highest risk of being disengaged in the long-term.

Copyright Press Association 2012