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British Youngsters Should Earn or Learn to Remain on Benefits

British youngsters will no longer be receiving benefits without having to work or learn for them. The British government announced plans to withdraw housing benefit and jobseeker’s allowance from many of the UK's young people (under 25) currently not in work, education or training. The new plan aims to ensure that young people either earn or learn, preventing them from choosing to live a life fully based on benefits. School leavers will then have to take a job or an apprenticeship or remain in education or training. Those who will fail to comply with the new rules will face sanctions including the loss of out-of-work benefits.

Everyone under 25 should earn or learn

The British Prime Minister made it clear: “We want to see everyone under 25 earning or learning”. Until now it is possible to leave school, sign on, find a flat, start claiming housing benefit and opt for a life on benefits without offering anything in return. Now it’s time for this mentality to change. The British government has definitely something better to offer to youths than the dole, in other words, options that could really prove vital for youngster’s growth such as schooling or apprenticeships. 

The latest government statistics showed 1.09 million people aged 16-24 were not in education or employment, 15% of the age group. Just over half were actively seeking work, and therefore classified as unemployed. Many are single parents.

The benefits for youngsters

The new measures outlined in the new proposal will bring numerous benefits for British youngsters, the country’s society and economy.

Young people will now have an extra incentive to enter the labor market and build up work experience through entry-level jobs, networking with key people and developing different skills (both hard and soft). This is a unique opportunity for them considering that many of their European counterparts struggle to find a job nowadays.

Moreover, many youngsters are expected to become more socially active and aware and contribute to their country’s economy. This in turn will offer them gratification because they will be regarded as valuable assets of their country’s economy and financially independent beings.

John F. Kennedy once said “Don't ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. It seems that the British government has started adopting the essence of Kennedy’s famous quote, and brings an end to the “something for nothing” mentality.