'Neet' teenagers are to be helped into work or training by a new scheme unveiled by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
'Neet' teenagers are 16 and 17 years olds with poor GCSE grades who are not in work, education or training.
The group has been hit particularly hard by the recent spike in unemployment, with Mr Clegg describing the problem as 'a ticking time bomb for our economy and our society as a whole'.
But the Government hopes that its new 'payments-by-results' scheme could see thousands of 'Neet' teenagers enter the world of work.
Businesses and charities will be invited to bid for contracts worth up to £2,200 for every young person who they help into employment, with organisations that have a 'proven track record' in helping youngsters to be awarded funding.
The Government has pledged to fund the initiative to the tune of £126 million.
Unlike any past schemes for this age group, payment will depend on results.
Organisations will receive an initial payment for taking young people on, followed by subsequent payments when they show progress – including remaining in education, undertaking apprenticeships, or holding down a job.
"Sitting at home with nothing to do when you're so young can knock the stuffing out of you for years," commented Mr Clegg.
"It is a tragedy for the young people involved - 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."
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