The Confederation of British Industry has called for tax breaks for those businesses hiring jobless young people in an attempt to fight rising youth unemployment figures.
The employers lobby group attested that organisations hiring out-of-work 16-24 year olds should benefit from a new 'Young Britain Credit', which would cover £1,500-worth of National Insurance contributions during their first year of employment. John Cridland, the organisation's director-general, said: "With unemployment rising, particularly among young people, now is the time for action for jobs. The best way of getting the UK working is to get the private sector motoring, but the labour market has been wracked by structural problems long before the recession struck that won't be swept away by a return to growth." Even though businesses were still creating jobs in today's difficult economic climate, all too often the unemployed, particularly the young, were "not best placed to get them". As a result, businesses, schools and the Government all had to work together to ensure that young people could "shine in the jobs market", he added. Moreover, the CBI's proposals would have an "affordable cost" of no more than £150 million per year and be paid in cash to small and medium-sized firms, Cridland claimed. Recent figures show UK unemployment to be its highest level since 1994, with more than a fifth of 16-24 year olds out of work, putting pressure on Chancellor George Osborne to do something in his autumn Budget statement to try and encourage employers to hire. In its report, the CBI also proposed freezing young people's minimum wage payments and creating 450 business ambassadors in a bid to strengthen links between school and businesses in local areas.