Chancellor Alistair Darling has earmarked more than £260 million for training and subsidies to provide young people with training to work in sectors “with strong future demand”.
In the 2009 Budget today, he announced that from next year everyone under the age of 25, who has been out of work for 12 months, would be offered a job or a place in training.
The chancellor said: “To provide these extra opportunities, we are working with employers to create or support as many as 250,000 jobs.
“So, as part of my guarantee to young people, I will spend over £260 million of new money, for training and subsidies to help them get the skills or experience needed in sectors with strong future demand.”
He said he would also provide £250 million this year, and £400 million in 2010-11, to keep 16 and 17-year-olds in education or training.
Mr Darling also announced a further £1.7 billion in funding for Job Centre Plus and the New Deal, following an investment of £1.3 billion last November.
Today’s figures revealed unemployment rose by 74,000 people in March - taking the total claimant unemployment rate to 4.5 per cent.
While Mr Darling admitted it was “not in any Government’s power to prevent all job losses”, he said it was “morally” and “economically essential” to get workers back into jobs as soon as possible.
Mr Darling said: “All over the world, as the economy slows, unemployment is rising.
“All the evidence shows that the longer people are out of work, the more difficult it becomes for them to re-enter the labour market.”