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Where are we on youth (un)employment?

by on April 29, 2014

Another round up, this time on stories relating to youth (un)employment that have made the headlines over the last couple of weeks. The unemployment of young people continues to be represented as a problem that must be tackled on a grand scale, for example, here in the Bournemouth Echo reporting a suggestion that organizations in the hospitality sector could each employ a young person which it says would reduce youth unemployment by a quarter.

The EU Youth Guarantee scheme is an example of this approach and its implementation continues to be discussed in different countries.  In this piece in Malta Today, the problem of youth unemployment is unpacked, explaining how it’s ‘important that we do not have youths on social benefits from an early age because these run the risk of remaining on social benefits for years ahead, at a cost to their potential and as well as to the taxpayer‘. This is a good demonstratation of the association we often see drawn in our data (including UK media) between youth unemployment and societal harm.

And in the UK, Stewart Segal, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, welcomed the £170m youth employment scheme which will pay for apprenticeships, work experience placements and youth entrepreneurship programmes. However, he is reported here as warning that young people now have “a maze of different programmes” to navigate and that the scheme might crowd out existing providers. This reminds us that there is a whole (competitive) industry devoted to tackling this issue.

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