Friday, 23 October 2015

Grow your own: skills as migration policy

by Mark Corney

The Conservative Government is taking forward three ‘stand-out’ skills policies.

The first is a UK-wide apprenticeship levy on large employers underpinning 3 million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020. The second is the immigration skills charge. And the third is the removal of the cap on the number of students in England entering full-time higher education.  

As well as representing the Government’s approach to expanding skills provision in England, they symbolise the emergence of a ‘grow your own’ policy in the face of rising net migration, an issue at the heart of the in-out referendum on UK membership of the European Union.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

What is the difference between housing benefit and maintenance loans for 18 to 21 year olds?


by Mark Corney

The majority Conservative Government remains intent on removing the automatic entitlement to housing benefit for unemployed 18 to 21 year olds. The stated rationale for this policy is ‘to ensure young people in the benefit system face the same choices as young people who work and who may not be able to afford to leave home.’

18 to 21 year olds in employment are paid a wage. Unemployed 18 to 21 year olds are eligible for Jobseekers’ Allowance or Universal Credit worth £57.90 per week or £3,010.80 per year.

In August 2014, 96,000 young people aged 18 to 21 were claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance although only 30% of claims last longer than six months. The annual cost to the Treasury is around £0.55bn.