Increasing the participation of 16- to 24-year-olds in education, training and employment not only makes a lasting difference to individual lives, but is central to our ambitions to improve social mobility and stimulate economic growth. In 'Building engagement, building futures' the government set out how its radical reforms of schools, vocational education, skills and welfare provision will make a significant difference to young people’s opportunities and support.
The department wants to go further to ensure that young people get the help they need to engage. In November 2011, the government announced almost £1 billion of funding over the next 3 years to support the participation of 16- to 24-year-olds in education, training and work – the Youth Contract. View the youth contract initiatives.
The Youth Contract for 16- and 17-year-olds is delivering across England over 12 regional lots and is designed to support disengaged young people to move into education, training or employment with training. This will help to support the government’s overall commitment to full participation for this age group as we raise the participation age to 17 in 2013 and 18 in 2015. This programme of additional support is focused on young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).
The original core target group for this programme, as defined during the procurement exercise, is focused on at least 55,000 young people who are:
In January 2013 it was announced that the eligibility criteria for the programme should be extended to include 16- and 17-year-olds who are NEET and fulfil 1 of the following:
Providers are given complete freedom to design and tailor a programme of support to help them move into full-time education, an apprenticeship or a job with training. They receive payment by results, up to £2,200 per person, depending on how successful they are at helping young people to make a sustainable move into a positive outcome.
Local authorities (LAs) have a statutory duty to support young people to participate and have a key role in helping to deliver this programme, working with providers to target those young people who most need support and ensure that this provision fits closely with the wider local offer.
You can download the detailed and updated role of LAs in supporting the Youth Contract.
The government announced the names of the providers who have successfully bid to participate on 20 July 2012. The organisations were required to demonstrate a proven track record in getting young people into education, apprenticeships, training or work with training.
In 3 areas of the country – Liverpool, Newcastle-Gateshead and Leeds-Bradford-Wakefield – we are testing a local approach to developing this programme as part of the government’s city deals. In these locations, funding will be devolved to the LAs, who will work together to commission a programme of support for 16- to 17-year-olds based on payment by results.
View further detail about the specification and other ITT documents.
There is also a list of providers delivering the Youth Contract for 16- and 17-year-olds, their supply chain and the geographical area they cover.
We have commissioned the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), in partnership with Professor Sue Maguire, Centre for Education and Industry at the University of Warwick, and the Policy Research Institute at Leeds Metropolitan University, to undertake an independent evaluation of the Youth Contract element targeted at 16- to 17-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training.
We will be inviting young people and their families, local authorities and organisations involved in delivering the Youth Contract to participate in the evaluation. Whilst participation is voluntary, we would encourage those invited to help as the evidence produced will be invaluable for future policy development. For further information about the evaluation, please see the project information sheet.
We have updated and published data for the delivery of the Youth Contract programme for 16 and 17 year-olds to the end of September 2013. Data published in June 2013 was for delivery of the programme to the end of the 2012 to 2013 financial year.
We will update and publish delivery data for the Youth Contract programme for 16 and 17 year-olds every 6 months.
On 1 August 2013, delivery of the Youth Contract programme for 16- and 17-year-olds in London North and London South transferred from Prevista Limited to Prospect Services.
Further information on all providers delivering the Youth Contract for 16- and 17-year-olds is available, including Prospect Services. It includes their contact details, supply chain and and the geographical area they cover.
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The Institute for Employment Studies (IES), in partnership with Professor Sue Maguire, Centre for Education and Industry at the University of Warwick, and the Policy Research Institute at Leeds Metropolitan University, has been commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) to undertake the evaluation of the Youth Contract element targeted at 16-17 year olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).
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Youth Contract for 16 and 17 year olds – successful bidders
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Our strategy to maximise the participation of 16-24 year olds in education, training and work.
Information about wage incentives and work experience – Department for Work and Pensions website.
Information about apprenticeships incentives.