Charity calls for government action on youth unemployment

04 - 11 - 2013

Almost one million young people are not in education, employment or training and thousands are at risk of facing a lifetime of unemployment, according to The Prince’s Trust.

The charity is calling on the government to take action on the issue of long-term youth unemployment before the UK is confronted with a youth jobs crisis.

According to the figures from the Office for National Statistics, 115,000 18 to 24-year-olds have been out of work for more than two years.

Youth unemployment figures have quadrupled in the last decade.

On the brink of a long-term, youth jobs crisis’

Paul Brown, a director at The Prince's Trust, says long-tem unemployed young people require specialist help to get back into the world of work.

‘We believe those young people need and deserve long-term support, otherwise we think we're on the brink of a long-term, youth jobs crisis,’ he says.

‘I've seen time after time, even young people who've been out of work for many years, turn their life around. That has to be worth it for them and for the
economy as a whole.’

Why is youth unemployment so high?

According to Professor John van Reenan at the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, changes to the welfare system in the mid-2000s may have contributed to a shift in focus away from tackling long-term youth unemployment.

Professor van Reenan also cites the education system as a factor contributing to youth unemployment, as he says it is not providing people with the right skills needed for all sections of the economy.

He also acknowledges that the banking crisis and recessions of recent years has made getting and keeping a job difficult.

‘Determined to tackle’

A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesman says: ‘Youth unemployment isn't a new problem, but it's one we are absolutely determined to tackle, and through the Youth Contract we've hugely increased the number of work experience placements and apprenticeships to give young people the help they need to find a job.’

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