Call to tackle youth unemployment

First published in Business Daily

YOUTH unemployment has increased in the UK at a faster rate than any country in the G8 since the start of the recession and cannot be blamed solely on the economic downturn, according to a new report.

A study by the Work Foundation found that the UK is now only behind Spain and Greece for youth joblessness in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

The problem cannot be attributed just to the recession because other countries have fared better, said the research group.

The Government was urged to follow the lead of other countries such as Germany and Denmark by taking measures including more apprenticeships and increased training.

Lizzie Crowley, the report's author, said: "In many other developed nations, youth unemployment has remained low despite the global downturn.

"However, in the UK youth unemployment as a proportion of 15 to 24-year-olds has increased at a faster rate over the course of the recession than both the European and OECD averages.

"While the reasons for this are complex, it's clear that the UK can learn from the experiences of those countries that have fared much better in terms of youth unemployment.

"The Government should focus on those policies that have been shown to work, cherry-picking the best responses from other countries and adapting them to the needs of the UK labour market."

Youth unemployment (15 to 24-year-olds) had increased in the UK by 35% to 916,000 between 2008 and 2011, compared to an average of 15% in G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK and United States).

Germany, Russia and Japan had seen a reduction in youth unemployment in the same period.

© Press Association 2013

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