TODAY Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg will announce £13.6 million to get young people in the East of England who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), earning or learning again.

As part of Nick Clegg’s Youth Contract, the Coalition Government will, for the first time, target funding through tailored support on a payment-by-results system to 16 and 17-year-olds with no GCSEs at A* - C who are at the highest risk of long-term disengagement.

Commenting, Paul Zukowskyj said: “Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government are doing the right thing and supporting young people in Welwyn Hatfield who have had difficulty finding a job or training when they’ve left school.

“Only a third of our young people get a chance to go to a University such as the University of Hertfordshire, so youngsters with no qualifications in Hatfield see people their own age moving on in life, whilst they get left behind. The result is anger and despondency. We really need to address that.

“I know Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government are making a difference, and giving these youngsters new hope is a great way of making our area a better place to live.”

Commenting further, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg said: “Sitting at home with nothing to do when you’re so young can knock the stuffing out of you for years. It is a tragedy for the young people involved and a ticking time bomb for the economy and our society as a whole. This problem isn’t new, but in the current economic climate we urgently need to step up efforts to ensure some of our most troubled teenagers have the skills, confidence and opportunities to succeed.

“Many of them will have complex problems: truancy, teenage pregnancy, a lack of GCSEs and health problems. So helping them onto their feet will not be without challenges and Government cannot do this alone. But we all have a duty to reach out to the young people who can be hardest to reach. That’s why today I am calling on charities and other organisations at the coal face to work with Government to help tens of thousands of lost teenagers onto a brighter path.”