It appears that your browser does not support JavaScript. Some features of the website will not be available.

Youth unemployment - a big challenge

Richard Rigby, Head of Policy and Public Affairs shares the real situation for unemployed young people across the UK

Young person talking to interviewers

If you’re aged between 16 and 24 in the UK, you’re almost four times more likely to be unemployed than someone aged between 25 and 64.

Youth unemployment is still a big problem for the UK. It’s true that the number of young people who are unemployed has fallen over the past five years, but our youth unemployment rate is currently 12%. When you consider that Germany’s is below 7%, there’s definitely room for improvement.

Over a third of those unemployed young people are ‘long-term unemployed’. That means they’ve been out of work for six months or more. These long periods without work make it especially hard for them to get back into employment. They’ve got large gaps on their CV that employers just don’t want to see. A big part of our work is reaching out to long-term unemployed young people, training them up and helping them find a job.

We’ve found that the current political climate is taking its toll on young people.

In our 2017 Youth Index survey, 58% of young people told us that recent political events made them anxious about their future. There’s speculation about how Brexit will impact immigration and how that would affect the job market. Equally, the economic impact of Brexit is still unclear and we don’t know how this will mean for youth employment.

Amidst this uncertainty, we can be fairly certain on one point: government policy will focus on improving the skills of its citizens. In advance of leaving the EU, the Government will be looking to improve the UK’s international competitiveness by making our economy more productive.

With your help, we’ll make sure the next generation are equipped with the skills to rise to the challenge.

Together, we’ll help young people to leave school with the skills to succeed, provide employers with a motivated workforce, and foster the entrepreneurial spirit of the next generation.