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Lizzie Crowley
Senior Researcher
T 020 7976 3616

The missing million: Addressing the youth employment challenge

The number of unemployed young people in the UK stands at almost one million and, unlike adult unemployment, this number has hardly fallen since the recession. Of particular concern are the 282,000 (July-Sep 2013) young people that have been unemployed for over 12 months.

For the UK, higher unemployment leads to lost economic productivity and higher welfare costs. And the costs for the individual are even more profound: unemployment can have scarring effects on wages; increase the likelihood of future spells of unemployment; and affect mental and physical wellbeing.  Successive governments have tried and failed to tackle this crisis and the aim of this research programme is to find solutions that really can make an impact.

The missing million is a two-year, solutions-focused project with the aim of increasing the employment prospects of young people in the UK. To do this, the project will answer two key questions:

We also have a number of upcoming releases scheduled for later in 2014 on the following topics: 

  • The graduate labour market and their experience unemployment
  • The role of self employment in tackling youth unemployment
  • NEET prevention strategies
  • Churn and the youth labour market

Related Reports

Reading Counts: Why English and maths skills matter in tackling homelessness
This report was published with St Mungo's Broadway to highlight the impact of poor basic skills amongst people whoa re homeless and to put forward recommendations for policy and implementation.

Daniel Dumoulin, St Mungo's Broadway and Katy Jones, The Work Foundation
16 June 2014

The Geography of Youth Unemployment: A route map for change
In this report we investigate how young people’s employment prospects vary in different parts of the country, why tailored local approaches are necessary, and what the role of local partners should be in tackling youth unemployment. There is a distinctive geographic pattern to youth unemployment in the UK. For example, in cities such as Middlesbrough, Barnsley and Glasgow the youth unemployment rate is more than twice that of cities such as Southampton, York and Reading (above 25% in the former, and below 13% in the latter3).

Lizzie Crowley and Nye Cominetti
08 April 2014

London: A Tale of Two Cities
The youth unemployment rate in London stands at 25 per cent. But this rate masks sharp disparities across the city region. Whilst the inner East of the city still fares poorly, outer London boroughs are now registering some of the highest rates of youth unemployment in London. This mirrors wider changes in the distribution of unemployment, and of poverty and deprivation more generally.

Ceri Hughes and Lizzie Crowley
08 April 2014

Related Events

Conservative Party Conference: ‘More than a job’ - creating career opportunities for young people
The Work Foundation fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference. The core question the event will aim to answer is: What would constitute a good youth labour market and how should we go about building it?

Tue, 30 September 2014
12:30 - 14:00

Skills for the Future: Securing the UK’s long term competitiveness
Unlike any other major economy, 18-24 year olds in the UK perform less well in basic literacy, numeracy and problem solving tests than those over 50. Skill levels are falling despite decades of increasing investment. Focusing on the future of the UK labour market, the conference will present new forecasts for skills supply and demand through to 2025. The Work Foundation, together with Ingeus and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills aim to use this event to drive the debate forwards.

Mon, 03 March 2014
09:30 - 17:00

Labour Party Conference: ‘More than a job’ - creating career opportunities for young people
The Work Foundation fringe event at the Labour Party Conference. The event will consist of a panel. The core question the event will aim to answer is: What would constitute a good youth labour market and how should we go about building it?

Mon, 22 September 2014
09:00 - 10:30

Related Blogs

Tough Love? Young people and training allowances
The Labour Party yesterday endorsed a proposal from the IPPR to introduce a training allowance for some young people with less than level 3 qualifications (roughly the equivalent of A-levels). It has been widely reported as an example of “tough love” – yet the proposal deserves more serious consideration

20 June 2014

The recovery and North - South divides
Ian Brinkley looks at the latest labour market statistics in a regional context which highlights a growing divide opening up between a job rich recovery in the South and the rest of the country.

12 June 2014

Comment on the Queen's Speech
The Queen’s Speech announces a number of measures to be wrapped up in a “Small business, Enterprise and Employment” Bill. These are a restatement of general objectives that government policies were pursuing anyway such as improving access to finance and to public procurement contracts for SMEs and regularly reviewing “red tape” so that it can be cut or made effective.

04 June 2014

Related News

HR Magazine cites The Work Foundation's policy paper 'The road less travelled? Improving the apprenticeship pathway for young people'
Prominent government figures have hailed apprenticeships as the antidote for youth unemployment and skills gaps. But how can SMEs afford to set up these schemes?

HR Magazine
12 July 2014

The Work Foundation quoted in the Metro on work experience for young teens
Article on the importance of work experience for young teens and an opportunity to work at the treasury.

05 July 2014

'One million thrown on the scrapheap'- The Work Foundation quoted in Daily Mirror.
Article focused on NEETS among young people in cities across the UK

Daily Mirror
22 May 2014