A £126m government scheme under which charities and companies can apply to receive funding to provide employment training for 16 and 17-year-olds has opened for applications today.
Under the scheme, part of the Youth Contract programme announced in November, charities and businesses can bid for contracts that will give them up to £2,200 for each young person they help.
The scheme will use a payment-by-results model. Organisations will receive an up-front payment for each young person they take on, a "re-engagement payment" if the young person meets set outcomes after three to six months on the programme and a "sustainability payment" if the young person has met the set outcomes six months after that. The outcomes will include taking part in apprenticeships and holding down jobs.
The programme will target 16 and 17-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training and have no GCSE qualifications at grades C or higher.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, said: "We all have a duty to reach out to the young people who can be hardest to reach. That’s why today I am calling on charities and other organisations at the coal face to work with government to help tens of thousands of lost teenagers onto a brighter path."
The scheme is being run by the Department for Education and funding is being allocated by the Young People’s Learning Agency. The deadline for the first stage of the application process is 5 March, and shortlisted applicants will be invited to bid in a second stage. The contracts are due to be awarded in June.