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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:

Related Reports

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

Our submission to the Public Bill Committee on the Deregulation Bill
This submission focuses on the Deregulation Bill and outlines The Work Foundation's recommendations regarding the simplification of apprenticeships.

Katy Jones
25 March 2014

Related Events

Party Conferences 2014
This year’s party conferences will be the last before the 2015 General Election. It will be a great opportunity to influence party manifestos and, as such, we’re looking for partners who want to generate debate around significant issues like youth unemployment, job security, economic growth, health in the workplace and productivity. If you’re interested in working with The Work Foundation then we would like to hear from you.

Mon, 22 September 2014 - Wed, 08 October 2014

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

In conversation with Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society
We are delighted to welcome Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society, to an ‘in conversation’ event at The Work Foundation where we will discuss young people and unemployment.

Tue, 03 December 2013
09:00 - 10:00

Related Blogs

Location, Location, Location
When it comes to youth unemployment, location matters. The latest report in the Missing Million series, published last week identifies clear geographical disparities across the UK. Although nationally one in five young people are seeking work but unable to findare out of work, this headline figure masks the true extent of the problem within some towns, cities and regions.

17 April 2014

Latest labour market statistics provides a dose of good news all around.
Blog post from Geraint Johnes on latest labour statistics.

16 April 2014

New guidance for schools on careers guidance offers welcome blueprint, but schools will need dedicated funds to deliver
Katy Jones, a researcher within the socioeconomic centre, blogs on the latest careers guidance announced today by the Government.

Katy Jones
11 April 2014

Related News

The Sunday Times quotes The Work Foundation on the subject of self-employment
record 4.5m Britons are now self-employed. Is the army of workers going it alone evidence of a flexible and resurgent economy or of a hidden weakness?

The Sunday Times
20 April 2014

The Work Foundation is quoted on UK youth unemployment and work barriers iin The Sentinel
Looks at the rising youth unemployment figures across Europe and the working barriers.

The Sentinel
18 April 2014

The Sentinel cites The Work Foundation on youth unemployment and its statistical average in Europe
Article on youth unemployment, argues that a third of young people will be out of work or trapped in underemployment or internships, claiming that the government's statistics hide the reality of unemployment.

The Sentinel
18 April 2014