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Jobless teens to be woken up by mentors

Deputy PM Nick Clegg has urged organisations in the Youth Contract scheme to be “creative” in their approach to help NEETs back to work, and companies have responded with help to wake teenagers up in the mornings.

The £126m scheme will run for three years, with the aim of helping 55,000 young people not in education, employment or training. The charities and businesses taking part will receive up to £2,200 per person they help, but only if they are still in work, education or training six months later.

It has emerged that some companies are using a mentoring scheme to provide wake-up calls for young people to ensure they regularly turn up at their placements on time. Pertemps People Development Group, a national training organisation in the north east, is also driving NEETs to interviews and work in an attempt to instill good timekeeping values.

The mentors are encouraged to build a personal relationship with the young person to support them into work or education. Lateness was one of the most common reasons for NEETs to be sacked, the group suggested.

Another company in Yorkshire is using ex-soldiers to deliver motivational sessions to young people, through the Heroes to Inspire campaign.

Almost one in five young people aged between 16 and 24 are classified as Neet – with the most recent figure standing at 1,163,000.

Clegg said the companies running the scheme should “be as creative and innovative as they can”.

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