By Jonathan Davies
The government is set to outline plans for a jobs boot camp designed to enforce a "no excuses" approach to tackling youth unemployment.
Senior Cabinet minister Matt Hancock, who heads the government's 'earn or learn' campaign, will reveal plans to send 18-21 year old jobseekers on a three-week intensive programme after submitting a jobseekers allowance claim.
During the programme, young jobseekers will practice applying for jobs and interviewing, with jobs coaches reviewing their progress and supplying feedback.
The programme will be in place by April 2017 as part of David Cameron's 'earn or learn' policy which will see young workers lose their benefits if they are not actively searching for work or in education.
“By working across government to make sure that every young person is in work or training, by opening up three million more apprenticeships, expanding traineeships, and making sure that a life on benefits is simply not an option, we want to end rolling welfare dependency for good, so welfare dependency is no longer passed down the generations,” Mr Hancock said.
“We are absolutely committed to ending long-term youth unemployment and building a country for workers, where nobody is defined by birth and everyone can achieve their potential.”
The minister has written to the four Labour leadership candidates calling for them to back the policy. However, left-wing candidate Jeremy Corbyn has said he would oppose any move to strip jobless young people of their housing benefits and Andy Burnham has expressed his disapproval of the idea.
A spokesperson for Jeremy Corbyn's campaign said: “This is another punitive turn by this Conservative government that is failing young people. They have cut further education places, driven a punitive welfare regime that has failed to reduce youth unemployment, and are raising university fees and taking away grants.
“As it takes away opportunities for young people to earn or learn, this government is blaming young people rather than addressing the real problems. It proposes more free labour from the young with fewer rights, and will be resisted by young people and Labour MPs.”
Labour's two other leadership candidates, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall, have both said that cuts to welfare need to be approached in a fairer way, also signalling their disapproval of the 'earn or learn' policy.