In Brief

Tories plan 'boot camp' for unemployed young people

Matt Hancock aims for 'no excuses' culture, ending benefits dependency with intensive job seeking

Job centre in Chatham

The paymaster general, Matt Hancock, has laid out plans for a 'boot camp' for young unemployed people. Those aged 18 to 21 will have to take part in an intensive three-week job search to claim unemployment benefit.

Hancock has been appointed by David Cameron to chair an 'Earn or Learn' taskforce to push through reforms. He said his proposal will "end the welfare culture that is embedded in some of Britain's most vulnerable communities".

The boot camp will teach young people good interview techniques, how to look for a job and will help them fill in job applications. It will take up 71 hours over the first three weeks of a dole claim.

From then on, a dedicated 'work coach' will work with each claimant to review what was achieved in the first three weeks. The plans will be implemented within six months, said Hancock. Those who refuse to take part will not be allowed to claim Job Seeker's Allowance.

Hancock said: "By working across government to make sure that every young person is in work or training, by opening up three million more apprenticeships, expanding traineeships, and making sure that a life on benefits is simply not an option, we want to end rolling welfare dependency for good, so welfare dependency is no longer passed down the generations.

"We are absolutely committed to ending long-term youth unemployment and building a country for workers, where nobody is defined by birth and everyone can achieve their potential."

The tough-talking description of the course as a "boot camp" comes directly from Hancock's office. Labour has not yet responded to the plans.

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