We need to put young people back to work. The coalition’s wage incentive scheme aimed to do this, but the early evidence suggests that it is actually doing very little to create new jobs, with only 9 per cent of employers creating vacancies as a direct result of the scheme. Instead, we should adopt a job guarantee for young people, with an offer of work experience to all those out of work and on jobseeker’s allowance for a year or more. It should be paid at the minimum wage in order to allay the justified concern with earlier “workfare” schemes. But it should also be combined with sanctions, with an obligation on the young person to take up the offer or find an alternative. This would have an immediate impact on youth unemployment in the UK, as well as providing much-needed labour market experience for many of the hardest to reach unemployed. The wage incentive scheme, on the other hand, has had the greatest impact on those closest to the labour market, who are more likely to be hired anyway and are less in need of help.
In the longer term, the UK needs a fundamental change in its school-to-work transition system, improving the routes after compulsory education for those not on a degree track. Young people do need to be equipped with the skills employers want, but also with the decent experience in the labour market that apprenticeships and jobs with high-quality training offer. The evidence suggests that there are not enough of these opportunities available to young people in the UK, with most of the growth in apprenticeship numbers being driven by over-25s.
There is an enormous proliferation of schemes attempting to re-connect education and training routes with the jobs available in the labour market. Leeds, for instance, has an ambitious target to “abolish NEETs” (young people who are not in education, employment or training) in the city, and is attempting to reach those most distant from the labour market. We have a lot to learn from how these have performed, but what we need in addition is some simplicity to the system, providing clarity to young people about the different options available to them. This would also help employers looking to hire or train young people but faced with a bewildering array of qualifications and schemes.
Similarly, the experience of other countries is informative.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
Last week, Secretary Kerry made his first speech as Secretary of State at the University of Virginia where he spoke about the importance of our foreign policy, especially for young people. He said “In countries across North Africa and the Middle East, the majority of people are younger than 30 years old. About half are … Continue reading »
Youth guarantees Programmes that guarantee young people will get a job, education or training have shown good results in a number of countries. In Finland, the success rate of the youth guarantee scheme is estimated at more than 80 per cent. A registered youth has to be offered a job, academic education, vocational training, or … Continue reading »
EU member states should guarantee that young Europeans do not remain out of work or education for more than four months, according to a scheme unveiled Wednesday by the European Commission. However the cost of tackling youth unemployment would largely fall to the states, said EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor, adding that “the costs of … Continue reading »
The last crisis has merely amplified what is an increasingly problematic structural issue in France: Youth unemployment. In the last 30 years, the youth unemployment rate has never dropped below 15% and has regularly exceeded 20%. Yet, integrating young people into the labour market has been an ongoing public policy objective since the end of … Continue reading »
‘In industrialized economies such as the European countries unemployment rates are very responsive to the business cycle and significant shares stay unemployed for more than one year.” writes Künn, Steffen in Unemployment and active labor market policy : new evidence on start-up subsidies, marginal employment and programs for youth unemployed. (Adapted choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor … Continue reading »
Youth Unemployment | More severe in countries in which vocational preparation takes place in full-time schools
“Young graduates and early school leavers entering the labour market are a population at risk. They are exposed to above-average turnover rates between different jobs and face an increased risk of unemployment. “ write Marc Piopiunik and Paul Ryan in Improving the transition between education/training and the labour market: What can we learn from various … Continue reading »
Unemployment among young people in Africa is increasingly recognised as a first order development challenge. Coming on the heels of sustained investment in education and unprecedented but largely jobless economic growth, the possibility of a ‘lost generation’ of young people, for whom meaningful and rewarding work is little more than a mirage, poses a fundamental … Continue reading »
In March this year, for the first time on record, more than half of the young people in Spain and Greece were counted as unemployed by the OECD, which provided the chart above. Three months later, the situation is still getting worse. Official youth unemployment in Greece and Spain has crossed 51 percent. That’s worse … Continue reading »
An Interview with ILO Economist Sara Elder
Q. There doesn’t seem to be much of a recovery in the job prospects of young workers. Why does this segment of the labour force continue to lag behind? A: Youth tend to suffer more during a recession, and take longer to recover from its effects. They often lack the experience and / or connections … Continue reading »
“Around the world, governments and businesses face a conundrum: high levels of youth unemployment and a shortage of job seekers with critical skills” writes Mona Mourshed, Diana Farrell, and Dominic Barton in a McKinsey in Its report Education to Employment Designing a system that works. (Adapted choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor to follow) How can a country successfully move … Continue reading »
T’S easy to start believing it. It’s easy to start believing it even when it’s George Osborne saying it. Easy to start believing that everyone on benefits is a workshy scrounger when the rest of us are skint and wondering how our wages will stretch to payday never mind Christmas. It’s easy to start believing … Continue reading »
“Youth unemployment was rising since well before the current economic downturn, but the fallout from the financial crisis has brought it to the top of the government’s agenda and generated a plethora of publications and initiatives to tackle the problem.” write Tess Lanning and Katerina Rudiger in Youth unemployment in Europe: lessons for the UK (Adapted choosen excerpts by …Continue reading »
One of the more tragic outcomes of the euro crisis has been the gut-wrenchingly high youth unemployment rates. More than half of the young people in Greece and Spain are looking for work. “Europe is facing an often-cited “lost generation” which experiences long periods of unemployment or unstable jobs during their first working years, with … Continue reading »
Only Austria, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland have youth unemployment rates below 10 percent
Low wages and a lack of available jobs are plaguing the EUs young and educated. Greece’s 15-24 year olds are facing unprecedented levels of unemployment, while Portugal is witnessing a mass exodus as endemic joblessness drives its youth abroad. The UN labor office predicts a global rise in unemployment of 12.8 percent by 2018. Across … Continue reading »
Unemployment is up by 0.2 per cent to 7.9 per cent. Long term unemployment is on the rise. Youth unemployment is up again, this time by 20,000. Any semblance of a jobs recovery is only visible in low wage sectors feeding into a clear wage squeeze, with the slowest growth in earnings since 2009. A … Continue reading »
Europe’s lost generation / Youth unemployment exceeds 60 percent in Greece, is above 50 percent in Spain and tops 40 percent in Portugal
Children across Europe are being driven into poverty by harsh government austerity and youth unemployment is soaring, threatening to create “lost generations” that could fire up a new continental crisis. Global charity Caritas said on Thursday that around three out of every 10 children in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain are in or have … Continue reading »
Max Kirby, who says there’s never been a better time to be young, has won £10,000 for penning his thoughts on ways to reduce unemployment. Here is his winning essay. One in five young adults in Britain is unemployed, more than twice the rate for the workforce as a whole. And (temporarily, I hope) I … Continue reading »