The Lowdown on Youth Unemployment

The Lowdown on Youth UnemploymentThe trend continues to haunt the coalition government of youth unemployment being at an all-time low, despite bold claims that employment is at its highest since the recession hit back in February of 2008.

According to the TUC who have recently done an analysis on UK employment figures, is that the rate of young people, out of work is at it an all time hit, in comparison to pre-recession figures. At a time where there are more job opportunities available, it’s of no consequence to the youth figures.

Since mid-2010, the rates have taken one of the steepest declines in employment for people between the ages of 18-24. This age group is the most affected, with an estimate of youths being 10% less likely to find a job now, prior to the recession employment figures of February 2008.

The Rise in Pension Age Requirements

The sharpest employment age rise was seen in female workers over the age of the 50.

This is thought to be a ripple effect of the new requirements to raise the pension age limit in women, to be equal to a male worker. As most employers are seeking out experienced staff, it seems to have a shift in employment from seeing youth unemployment rise, to a rise in older workers, nearing retirement.

Statistics for youth employment are somewhat tainted due to the training schemes in place. Current schemes are focused on putting young people into work to gain hands on experience. It’s not fully paid work and sometimes done in a voluntary basis with the hope of a permanent job upon completion.

The same training schemes previously sparked criticism after it was revealed that employers Tesco and Poundland, among other large firms, were abusing the services as a form of slave labour.

Staff were receiving no training along with no financial incentive to attend work, yet being forced by Job Centre Plus, by threats of benefit cuts for failing to take trained work for experience without pay. That has since been addressed and now it must be stated to candidates that this is voluntary and not a requirement.

The recommendations from TUC

The TUC is looking towards the government to do more to help young people into work and not focus so much on back to work training. Those between the ages of 18-24 years old should have a work guarantee in place after being unemployed for more than 6 months.

After that time has lapsed, the TUC would like to see enforcement of policies, where instead of young people being given on the job experience voluntarily… work should be guaranteed with full wages, in line with minimum wage requirements. This will give young people a true sense of the real benefits of working, without having to do a job with no financial incentive.

There is no doubt that the UK is experiencing increasing employment rates. Where the problem lies is in the youth figures, which TUC estimates that a further 395’000 jobs would need created, to support the youth employment growth.

Jobs are rising, but so too is the population growth. Combine that with the rising of state age pension legislation, and there’s a real problem in employment, that needs government to step up their efforts to support the growing number of young people, struggling to find a way into the rising job market.