What kind of sound does he want, and is he going to take lessons? I started on acoustic and felt it made the transition to electric easier, but it doesn't make it necessary.
Fender Strat Squires are cheap and good. That was my first electric as a 20 year old and the sound, while not perfect, was pretty good. I would avoid the cheap amp however, so like a couple others have said, upgrade the amp first after a year and maybe some pedals to give him the sound he is looking for.