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New benefits to help 18-25s

Benefits for unemployed school leavers and graduates have been announced as part of a range of schemes to help the young

TWO new kinds of benefit to help 18- to 25-year-olds will be launched this year, the government has said.

There will be a benefit for young people without qualifications, who are facing difficulties finding work, and another for young graduates who have been unemployed for at least six months.

They are aimed at those who are too young for RSA income support and not eligible for unemployment benefit (which is for people who have previously worked). They follow a promise by President Sarkozy last year to help this age group.

A benefit called the RCA (revenu contractualisé d’autonomie) will be paid monthly for two years to young people who promise to actively look for a job or undertake training. It will be €250 per month, dropping progressively in the second year, and claimants will be able to retain part of the benefit even while working if the job is at the minimum wage.

A second kind of RCA will be for people who have at least a bachelor’s degree. In return for a monthly benefit, the graduate will have to take part in a job-seeking scheme run by Apec, an association involved with management-level employment.

It is thought that about 5,500 young people in a first batch of RCA claimants, from December.

Alongside these benefits, the Youth Ministry has announced several other new schemes aimed at helping the young: €25 million to set up “laboratories” to develop new youth projects across France; 100 “regional platforms” tasked with helping stop young people dropping out of school to be set up during next month; and, by the end of the year, the creation of an official Observatoire de la Jeunesse (a body monitoring trends concerning young people).

The ministry says it has also been in talks with France Télévisions and the audio-visual watchdog about improving young people’s image in the media.

Photo: Auremar -

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