Youth unemployment, age or lack of skills

Virtually the whole of Europe faces a crisis of escalating youth unemployment, and Britain is no exception. More than a million under-24s are out of work and not studying or training – over 15% of young people.

The low-skilled comprise the bulk of the unemployed. The OECD reported last week that 19% of 25- to 34-year-olds in the UK who left school at 16 are now unemployed in contrast to 9% in 2000, while for those with degrees the unemployment rate is only 4.7%. It is not being young that makes you unemployed, but being young and unskilled.

skillA striking exception to the European norm is Germany, with youth unemployment of only 7.5%. The German economy is the strongest in Europe, but Germany also has far fewer unskilled young people because of the success of its apprenticeship system, which embraces most school-leavers who do not go on to higher education.
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M&S has joined forces to tackles youth unemployment

MARKS & Spencer has joined forces with the Prince’s Trust to create more than 1,400 work experience placements for young people. The recruits, aged 16 to 25, will take part in a four-week programme of unpaid work in an M&S store.
The firm says the joint scheme is designed to address the skills and experience gap that prevents many young people from finding work.

Chief executive Marc Bolland said: “Youth unemployment has become one of today’s key social issues and we want to lead the charge for businesses to do more to tackle it head on. Read more

Europe tackles youth unemployment, what about UK?

Germany and France announced plans to tackle the mass youth unemployment gripping southern Europe with a “New Deal”.

Under the plans, 6 bn euros from the European Investment Bank will help encourage job creation at small and medium sized businesses, after the eurozone debt crisis has left many SME’s struggling to borrow money from banks.
The deal will also pay for language courses and fund jobseekers’ flights around the continent in search of work.

Nearly one in four young people in the eurozone is out of work – with that figure rising to more than half in Greece and Spain.

The hope is that the “New Deal” will curb the mounting anger that is threatening the eurozone partnership.

We haven’t felt the same levels of frustration in the UK, even though youth unemployment recently reached almost 1 million, with more than half claiming benefits.

But this is not to say that the UK youth doesn’t have the same concerns. A striking issue, for example, is the amount of unemployed new graduates. It’s commonly known that graduates, whether moving on from a postgraduate or undergraduate degree, are expected to apply for unpaid internships, traineeships or minimally funded graduate programmes. Read more

Young apprentice, wants to promote apprenticeships

For Greg Thompson university was unappealing. The idea of big debts and a hard time getting a job to pay them off made little sense to him. But when it came to finding an alternative to higher education, his school had little advice to offer, he says.

“I don’t anywhere see there being alternative routes to success. We had a job fair at college once and all the stands were universities,” he recalls.

What his school did have, however, was a partnership with the charity Career Academies UK. Thompson signed up for the course it offered on top of his A-level studies. It gave him a chance to do a paid internship, learn public speaking skills and find out about using social networks to job hunt. That took him on to an apprenticeship at the Financial Skills Partnership and he recently secured a permanent job there.

The 19-year-old wants to see a bigger push to promote apprenticeships to school pupils. “I feel in every school and college, university is pushed and that is the only thing that is pushed and I feel they are kind of letting students down.”

“You should always have other opportunities. You should never just say you are going to university because that is what some of your friends are doing.” Read more

Entrepreneurs Around the Globe Urge G20 Leaders to Put Youth Entrepreneurship at the Forefront …

As G20 leaders prepare for their 2013 Russian Summit, 18 Canadians were among more than 400 young entrepreneurs from G20 countries calling on them to promote youth entrepreneurship as a powerful response to some of the most significant challenges faced by today’s global economy.

The G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, a network of young entrepreneurs and the organizations that support them, held its fourth annual Summit in Moscow from June 15-17.

Eighteen Canadians brought the voice of fellow young entrepreneurs to the Summit discussions and to additional meetings with International Trade Minister Ed Fast, Canadian Ambassador, John Sloan, and members of the Russian-Canadian business community. The names of the Canadian delegates from coast-to-coast and their comments on the Summit experience follows.

The Alliance’s communiqué highlights opportunities for government and business to harness the potential of young entrepreneurs to create jobs, economic growth and competiveness, and to spur innovation and social change.

Supported by the Summit deliberations and in-depth research reports from two of the world’s leading management consulting companies – Accenture and Ernst & Young – the Summit communiqué calls on Canadians and other G20 leaders to collectively seize upon four opportunities to expand youth entrepreneurship:
1- Increase access to finance and financial products and services for start-ups;
2- Ensure that labour, immigration and other regulations and laws are transparent, easily understood, and support rather than hinder entrepreneurs
3- Invest in educational and other programs to equip young people with knowledge and skills they can use to build businesses and create innovation, growth and prosperity; and
4- Provide the digital infrastructure and services that young entrepreneurs need to access government services and to build local and international networks. Read more