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Centrepoint - Government risks "complacency" on youth unemployment

Leading youth homelessness charity Centrepoint has warned the lack of tailored support for those furthest from the job market could leave ministers looking complacent as new government figures show a continued trend of unemployment for young people.

Responding to yesterday’s statistics, Balbir Chatrik, Director of Policy and Communications of the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, said: 

“Over the last few months we have continued to see a worrying trend in the number of young people losing their income and becoming reliant on the benefit system. This is particularly worrying since Universal Credit simply doesn’t cover the cost of living and is forcing young people to make the impossible decision between paying rent and food.”

“With the end of this month seeing both the winding down of the furlough scheme and the lifting of the eviction ban - it is clear we have not yet been exposed to the full extent of an economic fallout that is hitting young people hardest.”

“We saw at the beginning of this lockdown what can be achieved when there is the political will to help those who need it. The upcoming initiatives for the unemployed are a good start but, without more tailored interventions and an adequate social safety net, ministers are in danger of looking complacent when it comes to helping young people navigate the greatest economic crisis in our lifetime."

In May Centrepoint launched a new campaign calling on the government to increase the amount of Universal Credit under 25s living independently receive.

Currently, the younger age group receives up to £67 less than older claimants to help with living costs. This means that many claimants will regularly have to choose between purchasing food and paying the bills for no other reason than their age. The government has previously argued that young people can either move home or ask their parents for support - but this simply isn’t an option for some young people, especially those who have experienced homelessness.

About Centrepoint

  • Centrepoint is the leading charity for homeless young people aged 16-25.
  • Centrepoint operates nationally, with bases in London, Manchester, the North East and Yorkshire.
  • Centrepoint supports 15,000 vulnerable young people a year by providing accommodation, teaching valuable life skills, tackling their physical and mental health issues and working with them to get them into education or employment.
  • The Freephone Centrepoint Helpline is available for any young person aged 16-25 worried about   homelessness. It is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
  • The Centrepoint Helpline number is: 0808 800 0661.
  • HRH The Duke of Cambridge became Centrepoint’s Patron in 2005.
  • For more information, please visit www.centrepoint.org.uk
Original article link: https://centrepoint.org.uk/

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