Croydon chosen to pilot job scheme aimed at cutting 'something for nothing culture'
JOBLESS young adults will soon be forced to do three months' full-time work or have their benefits cut under a scheme being piloted in Croydon to tackle its "something for nothing culture".
Mayor of London Boris Johnson and employment minister Chris Grayling have announced the plan, at a time when more than one in four of those unemployed in Croydon is a young adult.
The Conservative pair this week detailed how 18 to 24-year-olds who have spent less than six months in employment since leaving education will have to work for their £56-a-week Jobseekers' Allowance.
They will do work experience placements in care homes, charities or social organisations for 30 hours a week over 13 weeks. They will also have to prove they have spent 10 hours a week looking for a job in return for the benefit.
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Croydon's Labour politicians have hit out after the announcement, branding the plan "insulting" for young people.
But Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell called the move "positive", saying it is vital for tackling the borough's "something for nothing" culture.
Mr Barwell said: "If you're out of work the worst thing to do in terms of future employment is sitting at home doing nothing. People who do voluntary work look much more impressive to employers."""
Mr Barwell said the scheme, which will be tested this year in 16 London boroughs, is just one element of a new approach to getting young people back into work.
A new work programme will mean job centres begin helping young adults to look for work as soon as they sign on. More apprenticeships will also be created.
There are currently 2,760 jobless 18 to 24-year-olds in Croydon. Although youth unemployment has dropped by 4.2 per cent since February this year, it is still 9.6 per cent higher compared to this time last year.
Tony Newman, Labour leader of the opposition at Croydon Council, said: "What I find insulting about this is the idea that young people are just sitting around doing nothing. Many are actively looking for jobs."
Mr Johnson said: "I would much rather people had the experience of work placements and the confidence that comes with it than being on benefits [and] seeing their self-esteem fall away."
Across the age spectrum, there are currently 10,653 jobless in Croydon, 6,425 of which are men and the remaining 4,228 women.