Angus MacNeil says bootcamp is ‘shortsighted’

Young people searching for work will be ordered to attend job hunting ‘boot camps’ from 2017 or lose their benefits, the UK Government has announced – a move which Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil describes as ‘short-sighted.’

Mr MacNeil said any genuine extra support for young people was to be welcomed but that this plan did not take into account the real life difficulties facing some of those searching for work.

Under the plan anyone under the age of 21 claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance would have to undertake a three-week intensive course to aid the search for work or training – all under the looming threat of losing benefits.

Mr MacNeil said: “The Tory Government doesn’t acknowledge that many young people are working very hard to find a job. It would make more sense to offer enhanced job seekers advice and support for all age groups, particularly the long-term unemployed, and to invest in more skills development.

“This plan is short-sighted because it suggests that young people out of work are only in this situation because they haven’t been trying.

“Use of the phrases ‘boot camp’ and ‘no excuses culture’ by the Tory Government clearly suggests that those who find themselves out of work have failed. The circumstances through which people find themselves out of work are not as simple as that.

“We all want to see young people either in work or in further or higher education but this announcement comes across as a threat to our young people and could potentially put extra pressure on JobCentres to deliver this programme.”