An employment minister has urged businesses to take on some of the borough's 2,515 out-of-work young people.

Mark Hoban, minister of state for work and pensions, encouraged Croydon employers to take advantage of rebates for hiring long-term unemployed youngsters.

Firms can pocket up to £2,275 for taking on young people who have been out of work for six months as part of the government's 'youth contract'. 

Mr Hoban said: "My message to businesses in Croydon for 2013 is simple: we've got up to £2,275 of cash sitting on the table waiting for you to take it up. So take on a young person who's been out of work for six months and the cash is yours.

"There really is no better time to change a young person's life and invest in the future of your business at the same time, so snap up the money before someone else beats you to it.

"With the extra work experience placements and apprenticeships we’re also providing we will ensure young jobseekers have the skills they need to make a real contribution in the workplace. They just need to get their foot in the door so they can prove their worth to local businesses."