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Young Workers Scheme

Volume 19: debated on Monday 1 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what evidence he has which indicates that the young workers scheme will create a significant number of new jobs.

Since there have been no precisely similar schemes before, the young workers scheme is experimental, and there are as yet no empirical data on which to assess the likely effect of the scheme. However, there is evidence from research that there is a relationship between the relative earnings of young people and youth employment, and the weekly payments will enable employers to take on more young employees than they could otherwise have afforded.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has received representations from the low pay unit on the young workers scheme and the possible withdrawal of wages council protection from young workers; and if he will make a statement.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will build safeguards into the young workers scheme to ensure that employers do not merely replace adult workers with subsidised young workers.

The valuable experience of older workers would usually be sufficient to dissuade employers from replacing them with young workers who, to qualify under the scheme, must be in their first year of employment on the date from which the employer first successfully claims payment. Employees who feel they have been unfairly dismissed do of course generally have recourse to an industrial tribunal under the employment protection legislation.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will build safeguards into the young workers scheme to ensure that employers are not subsidised whilst illegally underpaying young workers.

Application and claim forms for the young workers scheme include declarations which must be signed by employers that the wages paid to young workers in respect of whom payments will be made are not less than the minimum remuneration payable under any statutory wages order which applies to their employment.