How the Chancellor should use the Autumn Statement to address youth unemployment
02 December 2013
In its submission to the Chancellor ahead of the Autumn Statement, The Work Foundation presented its four-point plan on how to address the UK’s youth unemployment crisis:
On apprenticeships, we call for the establishment of ‘gold standard’ apprenticeships within sectors employing large numbers of young people. The government should support an extension of their pilot Trailblazer scheme, with a focus on developing apprenticeships in service sectors including health and social care, business administration and customer services.
On careers advice, the government should ensure it is properly resourced and of sufficient quality and that no-one leaves school without meaningful experience of work. We are calling for a £50 million fund to pilot innovative approaches and for the reinstatement of the statutory requirement for schools to provide work experience opportunities for young people aged 14-16.
On transport barriers, the government should guarantee concessionary fares for young people who have been unemployed for 12 months or more, both during their work search and for their first month in employment. And current transport assistance for school-aged children should be extended to all young people in line with increases in the participation age.
Finally, the government needs to better support the development of local approaches that tackle youth unemployment by pooling the remaining Youth Contract monies and making them available for areas to bid for develop local approaches to tackling youth unemployment.
Lizzie Crowley, head of youth unemployment programmes at The Work Foundation, said: “The Autumn Statement takes place against the general backdrop of falling unemployment and strengthening economic growth, yet the youth unemployment crisis shows no sign of abating. The number of unemployed young people in the UK stands at almost one million and, unlike general unemployment figures, this number has hardly fallen since the start of the recovery.
“The Chancellor must take action to reduce some of the key barriers which young people face in today’s already competitive labour market. Our recommendations on apprenticeships, careers advice, transport barriers and an improved local provision of services are all designed to ensure that the government addresses the long-term structural problems and that young people aren’t left behind in the economic recovery."
Notes to Editors:
1. Lizzie Crowley and Ian Brinkley are available for interviews, briefings and written comment.
2. The letter submitted to the Chancellor is available on The Work Foundation website - http://theworkfoundation.com/Reports/347/Autumn-Statement-2013-submission or available from the press office ahead of time
3. The Work Foundation aims to be the leading independent, international authority on work and its future. The Work Foundation is part of Lancaster University – an alliance that enables both organisations to further enhance their impact.
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