Train or lose your benefits

Ed Miliband has today announced how he intends to “incentivise” young people to work, and that is to remove the automatic right to Jobseekers Allowance for 18-21 year olds.

Young people with less than a level 3 qualification would be expected to get onto a training course where they may be then eligible for benefits providing their parents joint income was less than £42,000.00.

Currently the system pays out Jobseekers allowance but this is taken away if a young person trains whilst looking for work, unless that is a structured training scheme such as a traineeship.

Ed Miliband says that the current system encourages young people to claim rather than skill themselves for work.  Milibands reform would affect seven out of 10 of the 18-21 group claiming JSA and save approx. £65 million pounds a year.

Laura-Jane Rawlings of Youth Employment UK says; “encouraging young people to train and up skill is a welcome measure, however the quality of that training must be clear and that it leads to sustainable employment. Employers do not want young people with a raft of pre-employment certificates they want to recruit work-ready and motivated young people.  Will this measure ensure this or will young people be further away from the labour market as they get lost in a cycle of training for training sake?

We know that families on low and middle incomes are already being squeezed and there is a concern that this will put greater pressure on those families who just exceed the income threshold suggested and will find it difficult to know which pathway (University or Training) that they can afford to support their child through.

We are currently talking to our members and partners about this proposal.  Youth Employment UK champions the voice of young people and will be presenting their views on the issues of welfare and youth unemployment to policy makers; young people and employers must be consulted to secure successful engagement.”

For more information please contact

You can read more on Ed Milibands welfare reform plans here –

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