What should be done about youth unemployment?

NUMBER OF 16 TO 24-YEAR-OLDS NOT IN WORK IS NOW CLOSE TO A MILLION

New figures announced yesterday (12 October, ONS) showed that the number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work increased by 74,000 over the latest three months – to 991,000. This jump to close than a million is an astonishing increase of of 21%.

It’s clear that youth unemployment is a huge problem in the UK – and at Graduate Fog we know that is not just about numbers. It is about the lives, career aspirations and futures of hundreds of thousands of hard-working young people who are keen to crack on with their working lives, but are finding they can’t. It’s a complex problem – so what is the solution?

Employment minister Chris Grayling has announced a mix of training, work experience and a guaranteed interview to tens of thousands of unemployed people over the next two years, targeted at the under-25s. But will it be enough? As we have seen from the campaign to make all internships paid, all the training in the world is no good if there are no paid jobs at the end of it.

Should the Government do more to encourage businesses to hire young people, by offering tax breaks, for example? Should big companies that can afford to take on young people be forced to do so? Should unpaid internships be banned, so that companies are made to offer paid jobs to the young staff they are using? Should universities be pressured to offer better careers and job-hunting advice to their students and graduates?

What do you feel are the biggest barriers stopping young people getting into work? This is a serious situation – and the Government seems to have few ideas about how to help. So any brainwaves you have will be very welcome…