South Yorkshire MP presses for youth figures

John Healey, MP

John Healey, MP

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Rotherham MP John Healey is calling for figures to be released showing the number of young people who have found work as part of the Government’s Youth Contract scheme.

He is demanding that Works and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith releases the figures, to try to establish whether the contract is having any impact on youth unemployment in Rotherham and Barnsley.

There are fears that, under the Youth Contract, companies could be taking on temporary workers and repeatedly pocketing the £2,275 government ‘wage incentive’ awarded every time they take on a young unemployed person for at least six months.

There is nothing to stop firms getting rid of workers and hiring new ones after their payment.

Mr Healey, Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne, said in Rotherham and Barnsley there are about 5,000 people aged between 18 and 24 on unemployment benefits.

In a letter to Mr Duncan Smith, Mr Healey said: “I am determined to do all I can to prevent your government creating a lost generation in Rotherham and Barnsley.”

He has asked for Government figures under the Freedom of Information Act.