Posts Tagged ‘youth unemployment’

The Tories might tolerate youth unemployment, we do not

23/10/2012, 07:00:21 AM

by Rory Palmer

Having grown up in a North Nottinghamshire coalfield community I have seen the costs of a lost generation. That community lived the consequences of Thatcher’s destruction of industry and its vicious spiral of hopelessness.

Areas with traditions of industrial pride and hard graft saw a generation denied opportunity. The consequences were painful; drugs and crime, poor health, long term worklessness and aspirations smashed. This is why the coalition’s refusal now to change course is not just incompetent but dangerous.

The government’s austerity plan and a growth-less economy is a toxic combination for youth unemployment. Nationally over a million young people are now looking for work. In the East Midlands we have seen increases of over 20% in young people claiming out of work benefits.

This challenge is urgent. We need government at every level to act and act decisively. Local government is doing what it can. In the face of slashed budgets Labour-led councils across the country are developing youth job programmes. These areas saw the real impact of Labour’s Future Job Fund which was so callously axed by the coalition, with the prime minister calling the jobs it created “phoney”.


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The Youth Contract must be the beginning not the end

28/03/2012, 12:30:17 PM

by Richard Darlington

Any day now, the Government will formally launch the new Youth Contact and from April, 160,000 job subsidies and an extra 20,000 apprenticeships will begin to come on stream to help young people who have been out of work for more than a year. The new scheme cannot come soon enough and it will fill the policy vacuum left by the abolition of the Future Jobs Fund, more than a year ago.

Since that decision was taken, youth unemployment has risen to the highest since records began in 1986/7.

Last month, the latest stats show that more than a million (1,042,000) young people (aged 16-24) are now unemployed, the second highest since comparable records began in 1992, and a rise of 67,600 in the last year.

Most worrying of all, there are now more than a quarter of a million 253,000 young people (aged 16-24) who have been unemployed for more than a year. There has been an increase of 24,900 over the last year in this group, that would have been helped had the Future Jobs Fund not been abolished.

But it is not just work, but training, where too many young people are losing out in record numbers. There are now a total of 958,000 young people (aged 16-24) who are NEET (not in education, employment or training), up 19,000 over the last year and a record high of 15.9 per cent for a fourth quarter.


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The Sunday review on Friday: The Young Fabians’ jobs summit

16/03/2012, 02:35:50 PM

by Jonathan Todd

Earlier this week on Tuesday, the Young Fabians demonstrated their capacity to work for solutions to the most pressing of problems by holding their jobs summit in the week in which the ONS announced youth unemployment has topped 1.4 million – the highest since records began.

The discussion roved from the big, macro picture to very particular concerns. The willingness and capacity of young people to turn up on time for work and put a shift in was amongst the latter.

Punctuality isn’t just a challenge on the shop floor, though. The summit didn’t start on time. The star turn, David Miliband, we were informed by the chair of proceedings, Rayhan Haque, “had to do a bit of a vote”. The best laid plans and the NHS bill. Whether the lost time features on the risk register of the bill may never be known but the Young Fabians had become the latest to suffer from Andrew Lansley’s ill-considered reforms.

Manfully Will Hutton and his friend Sony Kapoor stepped into the breach created by Miliband’s absence. Many speakers at political events like to kick off with a joke. Hutton, in contrast, sobered proceedings by reminding us that we are living through the longest and deepest recession since the 1870s.

Comparisons with the 1930s are so 2008. We are now beyond them, with GDP still 3 per cent below where it was 4 years ago. Nobody living has ever lived through a recession as pronounced as this. Getting through this, Hutton insisted, is “the social democratic challenge of your lives”.

Helpfully he had come armed with suggestions for how this might be done: extending the kinds of business models that the ownership commission reported upon the day after the jobs summit; ecosystem policy, rather than industrial policy; a twenty-first century social contract, which would allow individuals to mitigate the risk in their lives; and a state-backed infrastructure bank. Some of these remained ideas thrown out to the room, unpacked and unpicked. Kapoor did, though, latch on to the infrastructure bank suggestion, pointing out that we are already serviced by one in the form of the European Investment Bank.

This was consistent with the strongly European flavour of Kapoor’s remarks. He provided a passionate and meaty articulation of the case that Europe, including the UK, now stands together or falls together. We shouldn’t be defensively building firewalls. We should be going on the offensive and taking advantage of the rock-bottom long-term interest rates across much of northern Europe to create an infrastructure boom.


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How enterprise can empower young people to tackle youth unemployment

05/03/2012, 12:00:47 PM

by Lee Marsham

Youth unemployment is a national crisis that has been worsening steadily in the last few years and has increased to unprecedented levels in recent times.

With financial tightening well underway and no sign of it loosening any time soon, it is hard to see an obvious solution to the problem from within our current leaders in many of our sectors of work. Why?

Today we are faced with a generation of leaders who only know how to put programmes in place with government support and incentives, both of which are on shortening supply.

As of yet no one has adapted to the new austere times.

It seems that only young people themselves can solve youth unemployment. But in order to enable young people to achieve this, we need to capitalise on the business capacity that they can provide.

This can only be achieved through a radical reshaping of the current curriculum so it entrenches entrepreneurship into young people.


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Heading for a generation of Neets in the North East

05/12/2011, 02:17:44 PM

by Roberta Blackman-Woods

Last week the chancellor delivered his autumn statement which offered very little to stimulate growth and create employment opportunities for areas of high youth unemployment. Last month figures revealed that youth unemployment has for the first time topped one million in this country and in the North East the situation is extremely troubling.

The government scrapped Labour’s future jobs fund which created over 100,000 jobs for young people. Youth unemployment is now reaching crisis levels, having shot up by 77% this year alone. There are now fewer people moving from benefits into work than at any time since 1998 which the chancellor’s statement fails to address at all.

Whoever the government tries to blame, the fact is Britain’s economic recovery was choked off a year ago and unemployment started rising again well before the recent eurozone crisis. We know this because unemployment rates are time lagged.


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The dalits of poor Britain hate immigration, not immigrants. When will we get that?

28/11/2011, 09:08:01 AM

by Kevin Meagher

Teachers at my school used to try and gee-up indolent pupils by telling them they would end up picking-out burnt cornflakes on the Kellogg’s production line if they didn’t get their acts together.

This warning often fell on deaf ears, and a strong back or willingness to work unsocial hours still pretty much guaranteed you a job anyway. Okay, not a great job, but you could stand there all day, bent over a factory conveyor-belt scouring for errant pieces of breakfast cereal, or lump heavy goods around a dockside or building site. Or perhaps join-up and see the world. You could, in short, earn a living, with or without qualifications.

There was a level of total educational failure we could tolerate as a country and still mop-up the consequences in the foothills of the labour market afterwards. And for those fulfilling these unfulfilling roles, the reward of hard, grinding work was the promise of a job that at least allowed you to secure basic frugal comforts.

The world looks a lot bleaker from those same foothills today. This month’s unemployment figures were especially wintry, indicating, as they do, that at least a million young would-be workers are left without the prospect of any kind of job whatsoever. Not even low-status conflake-picking roles. They simply don’t exist any longer, certainly not on the scale that will soak up the current need. Back in 2006, Lord Sandy Leitch’s landmark report into skills policy warned that by 2020 there will only be 600,000 jobs in our economy requiring no formal skills, down from around 3.5 million today. Some dispute that the numbers are quite that pessimistic, but the broad trend remains correct.


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