20 January 2011

Fears of ‘Jobless Generation’ As Youth Unemployment Reaches Record High

The latest employment figures released on Wednesday reveal that the number of young people suffering from the UK’s dwindling job market has reached a record high.

The official figures reveal that almost a million young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are now unemployed, sparking fears of a ‘jobless generation’.

Since 1992 when records began, the youth unemployment rate has risen 20.3 percent, with a particularly sharp rise in the number of 16 and 17 year olds classified as out of work rather than in education or employment.

The slowing economy has been blamed for the lack in job opportunities as well as reluctance by employers to recruit younger workers.  In addition, recent changes to retirement laws are enabling older people to work for longer, leaving fewer vacancies for the younger generation.

Graduates are also finding it increasingly difficult to find work and are being encouraged to undertake voluntary internships alongside their studies.  However, the rising cost of student fees mean than most students cannot afford to work unpaid.

This is compelling evidence of the way in which the last Labour government completely failed a generation of young people,” says Employment minister Chris Grayling.

Ministers claim that the figures have been skewed by the numbers of youth in full-time education seeking part time work.

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