Youth unemployment is rising rapidly. Youth unemployment stopped just short of the "million milestone" last month. The number of unemployed people in the UK aged between 16 and 24 currently stands at 991,000, and is widely expected to exceed one million when latest unemployment data are published next Wednesday (16 November 2011).
Youth unemployment increased in 97% of local authorities over past year
TUC analysis of UK claimant count unemployment data provides a useful - if depressing - indicator of trends in youth unemployment over the past few years. The TUC study suggests that youth unemployment "at least doubled in a third of local authorities (32%)" over the four-year period between September 2007 and September 2011. It also finds that youth unemployment increased in 97% (196 out of 2020) of local authorities between September 2010 and September 2011.
Barber believes that the youth unemployment situation is unlikely to improve any time soon:
With the economic outlook the gloomiest it's been since the end of the recession the bleak prospects facing young jobseekers look set to be with us for some considerable time to come, unless the government changes course now and brings in immediate measures to support jobs and growth.Meanwhile, economist David Blanchflower argues that there is another compelling reason to tackle youth unemployment decisively. In his view, "young people riot when they're unemployed."
March for Jobs 2011
Countering Blanchflower's grim warning, some young unemployed people are expressing their frustrations in other, more proactive ways.
The March for Jobs 2011 marked the 75th anniversary of the original Jarrow March in 1936, which saw 207 marchers walk from Jarrow to Westminster, in order to lobby Parliament. The demands of the 2011 Jarrow marchers included the following:
A massive government scheme to create jobs which are socially useful and apprenticeships which offer guaranteed jobs at the end - both paying at least the minimum wage, with no youth exemptions.The Guardian's Patrick Butler argues that the Coalition Government's flagship Work Programme risks ignoring both unemployed young people and the charities that could assist them in finding work.
Youth unemployment: What can HR do to help?
CIPD President Gill Rider argues that HR can do its part to help ease the problems of youth unemployment by demonstrating "active leadership." In her opening address to the CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition 2011 in Manchester this morning (Tuesday 8 November 2011), Rider pointed to "the work we've been doing to support young people find work."
CIPD branch volunteers have picked up that baton [of helping unemployed people find work] with a pilot project in the Coventry and Warwickshire area - mentoring young unemployed people to find work. Over 70 volunteer mentors have already signed up, and the first few young people to complete the mentoring have already successfully found jobs. As soon as we've learnt lessons from the pilot, we'll be looking to extend this valuable project. When we do, we'll be coming knocking - looking for many more of you to help us to mentor even more young people across the country, giving them the confidence and practical support to find work.See also: