Department for Work and Pensions


Tools menu

Youth Contract

Youth Contract – key initiatives

Wage incentives

Until March 2015 employers are able to take advantage of wage incentives. These are worth up to £2,275 each where they employ an eligible 18 to 24 year old through Jobcentre Plus or from the Work Programme.

In addition, a wage incentive scheme is available to employers who recruit a young disabled person from Work Choice in England, Scotland and Wales – a specialist disability employment programme that provides tailored support to help disabled people who have the most complex support needs.

Jobcentre Plus, Work Programme or Work Choice providers will give employers further information, advice on the eligibility conditions and support to identify the right person.

Work experience

Extra work experience places will be available across Great Britain over the next 3 years ensuring there is an offer of a place for every 18 to 24 year-old who wants one, before they enter the Work Programme.

Sector-based work academies

Extra places will be available in England and Scotland over the next three years, ensuring there is an offer of a place for every 18 to 24 year-old who wants one, before they enter the Work Programme.

Apprenticeship wage incentives

Further wage incentives are available to support new apprenticeship pathways for 16-24 year olds in England only and encourage small employers, who have not previously taken on apprentices to benefit from the Apprenticeship programme.


National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) in England and its website will provide you with more information and guide you through the steps of setting up an Apprenticeship in their programme.

Each UK nation operates its own Apprenticeship programme and Scottish Government offers a wide range of support for young people in Scotland.

For information on the Modern Apprenticeship programme in Scotland, contact Skills Development Scotland (SDS) helpline on 0800 783 6000 or visit –

Although not part of the recently announced Youth Contract a wide range of Welsh Government support exists for young people in Wales including a comprehensive Apprenticeship offer.

Support for disengaged 16 to 17 year olds in England

The Government will invest £126 million over the next three years to support young people aged 16 to 17 who are not in education, employment or training in England.

The Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA) are running an open competition for organisations from all sectors to lead this programme on a regional or sub-regional basis. Organisations will be 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 will receive payment by results depending on how successful they are at helping young people to make a sustainable move into a positive outcome.

The specification and information for bidders are available on Contracts Finder at:

Further information is also available from the Department of Education website:

Read the Deputy Prime Minister’s announcement in full –

Education and training are devolved policy areas. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive separate funding from HM Treasury and they will decide how best to use this additional funding in their respective countries.

We will publish more information here as it becomes available

Frequently asked questions

Employer factsheets

Further information

The Youth Contract is part of a package of measures to get young people back to work:

The Youth Contract is tackling youth unemployment with the support from the CBI.

CBI logo