Draft Policy discussion document - Youth unemployment - Printable Version

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Draft Policy discussion document - Youth unemployment - ReadingLib - 09-05-2016

Youth unemployment is a perpetual problem, exaggerated in times of economic recession, but singular resistant to correction.

Unemployment in your youth can have a disproportional effect on long-term earnings and the accumulation of pension funds.

Our young people should in fact be the easiest to place in work, having low overheads and wage expectations, as well as low housing costs. Having said that, simply because they are young though does not mean we can simply treat them as a commodity to be shifted around like cattle.

The key elements of reducing youth unemployment are education and training, mobility and availability of entry level jobs and careers.

The Liberal policy of Universal Inheritance may create opportunities for young people by funding transport or accommodation, but it would be of only a short term effect and the age bracket of 25 delays its benefits.

Education and work experience play a vital part in reducing youth unemployment. Many employees claim school leavers lack basic workplace skills due to the academic nature of our education system.

The governments funding of its apprentice scheme via a levy on firms has not been universally welcomed.

We also need to understand that traditional apprentice scheme directed towards manufacturing do not reflect changes in the structure of the economy. Much of the economy is service orientated, and requires soft skills rather than industrial lath turning ones.

Another universal factor in persistent domestic unemployment is a lack of geographic mobility within some sections of the labour force.

It is hard leaving your local community and perhaps relocating to another part of the country, and requires a degree of maturity, but according to anecdotal economic research around two thirds of people never move more than 10 miles from their place of birth.

During the 80’s or 90’s the French government developed a domestic hostel system to tackle youth unemployment.  This provided unemployed young people with urban accommodation whilst they got a job, built up some savings and then found permanent accommodation.

One feature of these was there were no TV’s allowed, to prevent people loitering in the halls of residence, rather than looking for work!

The first drawback of such a scheme is government funding and organisation. It would require the building of a dedicated network of hostels.

There are areas of employment in the UK, such as the building industry, nursing and care for the elderly which provide entry level opportunities, but these are not necessarily areas people would be attracted to due to various aspects of the job.

The building trade is perhaps one of the easiest to get into given the right skills and can create openings into full time employment. There are said to be 200000 unfilled vacancies, and a workforce increasingly dependent on foreign nationals.

Having worked in the industry it has a high turn-over, and follows a cyclical employment pattern in parallel to the economy and seasons, but the high turn-over in part reflects people getting the skills and contacts needed to set-up as a private builder.

Of cause the building trade, with its high physical demands is certainly not suited for all people.
Other opportunities to start a career include the nursing profession and care for the elderly.  These are areas where there are both expectations of greater demand, and the prospects of a long-term and rewarding career.

But at the same time young people may have reservations at committing themselves to such demanding areas, which are emotionally demanding, and in the case of care for the elderly, not well paid.

Training for care for the elderly is not well regarded, and a career in nursing demands a degree qualification, with no vocational route into the profession. Indeed the previous coalition government cut the domestic budget for nurse training by 50% and has now extended the student grant scheme to student nurses.

Youth unemployment in this country is currently running at approximately 690,000. That does not mean they would displace a similar number of foreign born workers, but we must make the effort to highlight the causes and offer remedies to this social ill.

RE: Draft Policy discussion document - Youth unemployment - Stone de Croze - 09-28-2016

As has been mentioned, youth unemployment is a social ill. There is an old saying, "The Devil will find work for idle hands to do", and sadly, particularly in in inner cities, this has been the case with negative forces preying upon the young, impressionable and those with few prospects for the future. This creates a downward spiral for society as a whole.

I think as a society, as well as successive governments, we must take collective responsibility for this downward spiral. So much emphasis is given on being an aspiring well educated high earner, that this basically condemns the less academic youngster. That less academic youngster should not become tomorrows drug pusher or gangster or at worst suicide statistic, but instead have every opportunity to earn a decent living by legal means. Therefore I strongly believe in investment in national public works programmes, improving neighbourhoods and communities and infrastructures for the national well being of the country.

The dysfunctional system whereby students leave education without the necessary skills or desire to take jobs in sections of industry where they are most needed must be addressed. Serious efforts need to be made to attract students to key industries where they are needed, including the option of further free education and training if required.

There has also existed since the early 80's an attitude problem where certain jobs are stigmatised. Paid work experience through an increase in the education budget could tackle this issue, in addition to giving students an insight into areas of work they may not have considered.

Though some are opposed to it, a Universal Income Scheme, which may progressives across the world are discussing, would allow greater flexibility at work. This would mean work would be shared thus creating vacancies for young people.