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Faster help for young unemployed in 20 worst areas

Extra support is to be announced for young people in the worst areas for employment, as part of the introduction of the Youth Contract scheme.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will reveal 20 areas across the north ofEngland,Scotlandand southWaleswhich will benefit from faster introduction of the programme. The areas have been calculated by the Cabinet Office and the DWP as having the worst opportunities for youth employment.

This will cut the time a person aged 18-24 has to be unemployed to qualify for support in finding a job from nine to six months. Employers will receive £2,000 to help pay their wages for six months and will be required to contribute at least as much again.

Clegg is to say: “How we help these young men and women says something, says everything, about who we are. These are our children and they are in their hour of need.”

He will label youth unemployment as a “human tragedy” and call for the Government to provide “targeted support to the youngsters who struggle to break into the workplace”.

The national £1bn scheme aims to help 160,000 young unemployed people.

The first 20 areas to benefit from the reduced qualification time will be Blaenau Gwent, Hartlepool, South Tyneside, Merthyr Tydfil, Clackmannanshire, Redcar and Cleveland, Kingston upon Hull, Middlesbrough, Wolverhampton, Sunderland, Sandwell, Walsall, Rotherham, North Ayrshire, Dudley, Birmingham, Caerphilly, West Dunbartonshire, Barnsley and Northmberland.

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