Nick Clegg has promised to deal with the rising problem of the UK's 'NEET' youth – young people who are not in employment or training.
Mr Clegg described the issue as a "ticking time bomb" for the economy and society as a whole, and warned that it could have a damaging long-term effect on those affected.
"Sitting at home with nothing to do when you're so young can knock the stuffing out of you for years."
"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," he said.
Around £126 million pounds will be allocated towards tackling the problem.
This will go towards training sessions, including interview practice, and inviting charities and businesses to give young people work.
A recent study by learndirect revealed that many jobseekers are lacking in the basic skills necessary for employment applications and interviews, and are therefore finding it difficult to break into the job market.
Youth unemployment is currently at a record high of 22 per cent, with more than one million young people out of work.
As a result, many are suffering from severe money worries.
While 55,000 16 and 17-year olds are set to benefit from the scheme, some believe that Mr Clegg's proposed measures will be insufficient in dealing with the problem.
Neil Barberry, director for employment and skills policy at the Confederation of Business Industry, said: "This announcement is a step forward, but we remain concerned that this programme does not go far enough.
"We still need to see urgent action in schools to minimise the risk of young people becoming Neets in the first place, through better careers and study advice and improved business-school links," he said.
Posted by Kim Burns
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