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Give firms a tax break for hiring jobless young, urges CBI

UK firms should be given a tax incentive for taking on jobless young people as part of a range of measures to curb rising youth unemployment, according to a leading business group.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is calling on the Government to introduce a new Young Britain Credit of £1,500 for employers that recruit unemployed 16 to 24 year- olds.

The group said the measure would cover the first year's National Insurance for employers and would cost £150 million a year – an expense which it claims is ‘affordable within the context of the Government's deficit reduction plans’.

The call comes ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 29 November, and as latest figures reveal that youth unemployment is nearing the one million mark.

In addition, the CBI is calling for the creation of around 450 business ambassadors to ‘strengthen links between schools and businesses’, as well as the introduction of a comprehensive ‘readiness for work’ assessment for every unemployed person.

It also suggests suspending rather than cancelling benefits when someone accepts a job.

‘With unemployment rising, particularly among young people, now is the time for action for jobs,’ said CBI director-general, John Cridland.

He added: ‘We need businesses, schools and the Government working together to make sure young people are able to shine in the jobs market.

‘Our proposals are not exhaustive, but taken together would herald a major shift in the way we prepare youngsters for the world of work, provide support for companies to create and retain jobs, and ensure the benefits system makes work pay’.