Youth unemployment continues to increase. BYC survey reveals hopes and fears.  Prince's Trust (BYC member) launches new Job Ambassador initiative.

As youth unemployment continues to grow (22% today) BYC again call on our decision making employers, educators and Government to address the issues more pragmatically to prevent unemployment having long term consequences on society. Young people have continued to bear the brunt of the downturn in the economy.

The Office of National Statistics data  showed, with 1.04 million 16 to 24-year-olds out of work in the three months to December, an increase of 22,000 on the previous three months. The unemployment rate among this group is 22.2%.

BYC members Prince's Trust launch new Job Ambassadors initiative.

The Prince's Trust new Job Ambassadors scheme will see young people, who have faced long-term unemployment and transformed their lives with help from The Prince's Trust, employed as 'Job Ambassadors' to help other jobless youngsters. The announcement is a direct response to the recent record-breaking youth unemployment levels - which hit 1.04 million last month. More at:

"A new BYC survey - Our Future - reveals that young people believe that youth unemployment will worsen and competition for university places is set to increase this year."

Young people aged 11 to 25 (total sample 1172) told BYC:

● Young people believe that youth unemployment will worsen and competition for university places is set to increase.

● Most young people (6 out of 10) think the Government's strategy will not tackle youth unemployment.

● Only 6 out of 10 young people are optimistic about whether they will have the job and career they want in the future.

● 68% feel that the Government's strategy for economic growth does not involve young people.

Sixth Formers/ College students, aged 16-18 (sample 433) told BYC:

● 64% expect youth unemployment to worsen in the UK by the end of this year.

● 55% expect competition for university places to worsen in 2012.

Liam Preston, Chair of BYC: "The ACEVO report not only highlights the terrible cost of youth unemployment to the economy but points to complex underlying causes. However - if you are on the receiving end of youth unemployment none of this matters. The unemployment rate for you as an individual is 100%!"

"Whilst most young people are upbeat about their futures, many are under the impression that current Government economic plans don't include young people and won't address youth unemployment, which they expect to get worse."

"The current levels of youth unemployment are shocking. The youth of today are feeling under siege and undervalued with a series of measures that make it tougher still - rising student fees, cuts to youth services, loss of EMA".

"We want to be more positive and call on those in power, be they politicians, employers or educators - to start talking to us, and with us about the future. After all the future is a world where we will all have to live together, and where future prosperity depends on how well we prepare the youth of today to rise to its challenges."

"We call for a bolder vision and investment in the youth of today, particularly around careers advice and job ready skills". 

UK Youth Parliament MYP Lola Mustapha said...

"It is devastating that our generation is losing out on hopeful opportunities for employment as a result of the Government's economic crisis. We deserve to also be given the right to grow, not only as young individuals but also as future leaders of society"

Youth unemployment - the crisis we cannot afford" - Miliband report

On the 6th February the ACEVO Commission on Youth Unemployment, chaired by David Miliband MP, released its recommendations. BYC reacts with call for action for jobs, and better preparation for the world of work through schools and careers advice.

Last year ACEVO set up a task force in youth unemployment, chaired by David Miliband MP. After taking evidence the Commission has released its final report on 6 February, available for download here. In response BYC, UKYP and the Young Mayor Network commissioned a survey of over 1100 young people across the UK to find out how they feel about youth unemployment and their job prospects.


ACEVO's Commission on Youth Unemployment report recommendations include:

● Ensuring more job opportunities are available to young people in 2012: by frontloading the Government's 'Youth Contract' initiative and doubling the number of job subsidies available in 2012. 

"The British Youth Council (BYC) welcomes both the Government's Youth Contract and this suggestion to increase its pace and size, as good first steps."

● 'First step' - a part-time job guarantee for young people who have been on the work programme for a year without finding a job.

"Job guarantees are a promise many young people are sceptical about. Who is going to provide the guarantee and where can young people appeal to if it doesn't happen?"

● Targeting young people earlier: A new national programme, Job Ready, to work with teenagers to prevent them becoming NEET in the first place. Providing localised education-to-career support for the non-university bound who are fast becoming the forgotten 50%.

"BYC welcomes early intervention to prevent young people not being prepared or matched to the labour market and the key to this is the quality of careers advice -not just for the non-university bound young people, but for those who are undecided about whether to go university or not."

● Youth Employment Zones: starting in the youth unemployment hotspots, local organisations should come together and pool resources to get young people into work, with Whitehall offering a turbo-boost in the form of extra freedom and flexibility in return for results.

BYC work highlights growing inequalities between areas of the UK for young people - so targeted support to level the paying field is very welcome."

● A new mentoring scheme for young people, by young people: where under-25s who have been in work for a year mentor others on their path to employment.

"As a youth-led charity BYC supports mentoring, especially by other young people. This is a good example of young people also being part of the solution not the problem."

 "Taken as a whole these recommendations are welcome but we would add one additional recommendation: that young peoples' leaders are also involved in a dialogue about youth unemployment to address their underlying anxieties. These and lack of good information affect their confidence and choices in a competitive jobs market. We want more of this advice and information available in schools - about local and national job markets, skills trends, career opportunities - as a fundamental part of learning about the world of work."

Read the British Youth Council briefing here.