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CAB - Young people are among hardest hit by sanctions

Citizens Advice has warned that 'support into work is simply not working for many young adults' as new research from the YMCA shows that young people are being hit hard by the Government's tough new sanctions regime. Citizens Advice has warned that whilst the economic picture in the UK is improving, young people in particular are still struggling to feel the benefits, with ONS data showing that there are 38,000 fewer under-25s in employment than this time last year.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy, said:  

"More than 900,000 young people are still frozen out of the economic recovery. Young people have been hit hard by recession and we've seen a 53 per cent jump in the number of under-25s seeking our help since before the downturn. Despite welcome economic news and positive steps like the Youth Contract, there are 38,000 fewer young people in employment than this time last year.

"Support into work is simply not working for many young adults. We're starting to see economic progress but young people still make up a huge twenty-seven per cent all jobseekers and receive forty per cent of all sanctions. Measures to support people into work offer only stick and no carrot for far too many young people.

"Sanctions are meant to be a last resort but the experience of many of our clients is that jobcentres sanction first and ask questions later. In many cases the Government's sanctions regime pushes people working hard to get a job further away from employment. A four-week minimum sanction can make it an uphill battle to put food on the table, let alone take on the training and skills development needed to maximise the chances of getting work.

"It is absolutely right that people looking for a job do what they can to find work in return for support. For the overwhelming majority of Citizens Advice clients being unemployed is not a choice, but an exhausting burden which they are desperate to free themselves from."

Citizens Advice

Notes to editors

  1. This year the Citizens Advice service celebrates its 75th anniversary. We’ve planned a year of activity running from January to December 2014.  Contact the press office to find out more.
  2. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  3. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  4. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at www.adviceguide.org.uk
  5. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 or 08454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  6. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.6 million problems from April 2012 to March 2013. For full 2012/2013 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  7. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 22,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.

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