Chris Grayling, the employment minister, has indicated that voluntary organisations are eligible to apply for subsidies to employ young people as part of the government’s new £1bn Youth Contract.
The three-year scheme will give employers subsidies worth £2,275 per person to take on 160,000 18 to 24-year-olds for six months.
Stephen Timms, Labour MP for East Ham and shadow employment minister, submitted a parliamentary question to Grayling asking whether voluntary organisations were eligible for the wage subsidies.
Grayling replied this week that they were. He added that only young people on the DWP’s Work Programme could take part in the scheme.
"We will be talking to employers, providers and other key stakeholders, including the voluntary and the community sector, as we develop the detailed design," he said.
Donna Mackinnon, director of employment services at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, said: "It is certainly positive to hear that third sector employers will not be excluded from the wage subsidy.
But she said "the lack of detail so far is still cause for concern".
A spokeswoman for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations said: "We’re still in talks with the DWP about the details of the Youth Contract."