Teenage parents have access to a wide range of pre and post employment support. This includes the new deal for lone parents and new deal for partners. Both programmes offer eligible parents, aged 16 years and over, access to a specialist personal adviser and a package of support, including training, tailored to the circumstances of the individual.
Everyone making a claim to jobseeker's allowance (JSA) has an initial interview with a personal adviser to discuss their employment goals and how they will go about achieving those goals. In addition to the support available to all new JSA customers, those aged between 18 and 24 have access to extra adviser support and programmes, such as mentoring and work experience, designed specifically for this age group; those who have less than six months post-education work experience also have immediate access to the work trial programme. All 18-year-old new claimants have the opportunity to attend a 'group jobsearch session' which offers wide ranging advice on job-hunting and provides information on the services offered by Connexions/Careers Service in relation to education and training.
All 18-year-old jobseekers who have been outside education, employment or training for a continuous period of 26 weeks prior to making their claim, will be automatically mandated to the supported stage of the flexible new deal or the new deal for young people, where they receive more intensive adviser support and access to a wider range of employment measures. Some other 18 (and 19) year olds, those considered to be at greatest disadvantage in the labour market, have voluntary access to this more intensive support.
All 18 to 24-year-olds entering stage three of the flexible new deal process or the new deal gateway, are eligible for the young person's guarantee; an offer of a job, training or work experience. Individuals can be fast-tracked to early access to this provision.
A small number of 16 and 17-year-olds are also able to claim JSA, mainly those in 'severe hardship'. These customers will see a specialist adviser in Jobcentre Plus and the vast majority of them must, as a condition of their claim, register for work and training with Connexions/Careers Service who are best placed to provide advice and guidance to this age group.