Employment safety net for 16-year-olds who don’t go to university
Regular readers will know that we have long identified the use of the term ‘lost generation’ to describe unemployed young people and how it is deployed to justify Government action to address their situation.
This piece in the Independent argues that the economic downturn has disproportionately affected young people’s job prospects in Britain and elsewhere in Europe. it accompanies another item in the same paper announcing Government plans to put together measures to help NEETs (16-24 year olds Not in Education, Employment or Training).
The key measures seem to be:
– Young people not wanting to go to university will enter a nation-wide UCAS-style clearing system at age 16 which will provide details of college courses, apprenticeships, traineeships, work experience and job opportunities;
– Jobcentres will be available to 16 to 17 year-olds for the first time for advice on finding work;
– 18-21 year olds out of work for six months will lose their Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if they have not achieved Level 2 maths and English and refuse training (under a trial scheme);
– Work experience for 18-21-year-olds on JSA for six months in a pilot project aimed at building up their confidence;
– Schools will be ordered to provide much better careers advice;
– Schools will have a duty to develop close links with local employers.
These all look like process changes rather than anything substantive so it remains to be seen what effects they will have.