Jobcentres in Norfolk and Hertfordshire to help under-18s for the first time

Jobcentres are to help under-18s for the first time. Photo: PA.

Work coaches are to help 16 and 17-year-olds in Norfolk and Hertfordshire find a job under a new initiative targeted at unemployed youngsters who are not in education or training.

The Department for Work and Pensions said that, for the first time, staff from jobcentres would help younger people look for employment or training opportunities.

A scheme usually only available to over-18s will be piloted in four areas of England - including Norfolk and Hertfordshire - for 16 and 17-year-olds. If successful, it will be rolled out across England.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "As our economy gets stronger, we need to make sure that every single young person shares in the recovery and gets help to reach their potential.

"For the first time, 16 and 17-year-olds who need help to find work or training will have access to jobcentres where they will get tailored support from a work coach."

Employment Minister Esther McVey said: "Jobcentre work coaches have a huge amount of expertise, experience and local labour market knowledge, and we want to use that to help young people get their foot in the door to the career they want."