A key component of the Government’s initiative to help more young people into work is riddled with abuse by both employers and welfare-to-work companies a report quietly released this week has revealed.
The Wage Incentive is the only one of the flagship youth employment measures within the Youth Contract which isn’t workfare, although participants are only paid minimum wage. The scheme pays out £2,275 (or £1,137.50 for part time positions) to employers who employ someone on the Work Programme between the ages of 18 to 24 for a minimum of six months. 160,000 places are to be funded over the next three years.
The scheme, which even the DWP admit may be illegal under age discrimination laws, will cost up to £350 million in total. If the current shambles continues then a third of that, over £100 million pounds, could be handed out to companies claiming for jobs which…
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