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Whilst employment figures are improving, the youth unemployment situation worsens

Authors: Lizzie Crowley Lizzie Crowley

14 August 2013

Figures out today (14th August) show that despite a surge in employment over the last quarter, unemployment remains stubbornly high and young people are still experiencing an increasingly tough labour market.

More and more young people are struggling to make the transition between education and the labour market. The global economic downturn has made things increasingly difficult and evidence suggests that young people are not seeing the benefits of the recovery. The latest figures from the ONS show a continued worsening of the labour market position for young people; the unemployment rate for young people (aged 16-24 years) currently stands at 19.8 per cent - up 0.7 per cent from the previous quarter[1], whilst the number of young people in work fell by 92,000 from January to March 2013.  

Yet, we know that the recession isn’t the sole cause as youth unemployment has been on the rise since the early 2000s. We also know that it doesn’t have to be this way; other countries have managed to maintain consistently low levels of youth unemployment despite the recession. That’s why we have been calling for concerted action, through our Missing Million programme, from government, education and training providers and employers (as outlined in our report)  to tackle the long term causes and alleviate the short term consequences of  the UK’s youth unemployment crisis. 

Part of the solution lies in smoothing the transition from education to the world of work by creating integrated pathways for young people. This means ensuring: that our vocational education system is fit for purpose, that it provides employers with the skills they need and allows young people to progress and sustain in work; that our careers advice and guidance allows young people to make informed choices; that services for young people are co-ordinated at a local level, so young people don’t fall out of the system; and, that the right support is available to support young people, if they do become unemployed.     

To hear more about our research please join us and Impetus-PEF at our party conference fringe events, where we will be joined by an exciting panel of guests to discuss ‘'Lost in transition? Why are young people failing to make the transition from school to work?'



[1] This figure excludes full-time students

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