Don’t leave young people on the shelf

May 18, 2021

Chris Goulden, our Director of Impact and Evidence, commented:  

“The Office for National Statistics (ONS) job stats released today (18 May 2021) confirm that the impact of the pandemic remains unequal and young people continue to bear the brunt of a disrupted job market. While the number of older employees is actually higher than a year ago, youth employment remains in the doldrums showing only minor improvement.

“Long-term youth worklessness is setting in. There is a steady rise in 16-17 year olds unemployed for over a year, now at 13.5% compared to 6.4% a year ago. The increase is starker still for 18-24 year olds with the highest rates of unemployment for five years; 42% have been unemployed for over six months compared to 30% a year ago.

The government cannot leave young unemployed people on the shelf as the economy opens up, benefiting more experienced workers. It needs to act on its promise of levelling up with a meaningful Opportunity Guarantee to promote job creation and extend its Kickstart scheme beyond December.

“If we are to avoid a generation’s future damaged by the scarring effects of high worklessness, we need to rethink the system. Our mission is to close employment gaps for young people furthest from the job market. If you’d like to join our coalition of employers, practitioners, policymakers, and young people, to drive progress, get in touch:- partnerships@youthfuturesfoundation.org.”