Who to blame, for the plight of Britain’s young

Blame austerity, not old people, for the plight of Britain’s young.
We are governed by charlatans. The scale of economic mismanagement of our country is too little understood. We connive in epic mistakes and unnecessary suffering, legitimised by a suffocating and destructive economic consensus whose analytic underpinnings are in shreds – and known to be in shreds. Who cares for the condition of Britain or its people?

The facts are brutal. By 2018, 10 years after the financial crisis began, our GDP will be, cumulatively, 16% lower than it would have been had the crisis not broken. Only war has provoked such a discontinuity in our growth performance in modern times. This is imposing incredible and growing hardship on everybody, except for a few. Average incomes have fallen by 7% from their peak. You can see the effects in any high street. It’s a world where good jobs are scarce, half a million rely on food banks, zero-hour contracts mushroom and the future is dark.

jobThe young are at the centre of this maelstrom. Between 2008 and 2012, the Institute of Fiscal Studies reports that average incomes for people in their 20s fell by 12% – the largest of any group. The reason is not hard to find: there has been a collapse in demand for their labour. Firms, fearful for their own future, are not offering first “entry” jobs on any scale, let alone promoting and giving opportunity to the young they do employ. A quarter of firms offer no entry jobs at all. One in five 16- to 24-year-olds is without work. Read more

The first National Youth Film Festival

A nationwide programme of free film screenings and activities has been planned for the first National Youth Film Festival later this year. The festival aims to give children aged five to 19 the chance to learn about film making and the film industry.

All UK schools and youth groups will have the opportunity to take pupils to the cinema free of charge.

Young-filmmakerThe project is being delivered by Film Nation UK, a new charity for film education.
The BFI is investing £26m of lottery funding over the next four years to deliver the initiatives.

The money will be invested over four years, which education charity FilmClub said is the largest investment in film education so far in this country.

The charity said the money is aimed at ensuring every five to 19 year-old in the UK has the opportunity to receive film education. As part of the new film festival, young people will be able to attend screening and take part in interactive workshops and Q&A sessions with industry professionals.

Teachers will also be able to use the screenings for educational purposes to coincide with topics in the curriculum.

Boasting a board of trustees of leading industry figures, it is lead by Working Title’s Eric Fellner and also includes James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, director Beeban Kidron and BBC journalist and presenter Samira Ahmed.

The festival will run from 21 October to 8 November. More information

Europe battle over youth unemployment

European Union leaders will hold a summit later this month to tackle the growing scourge of youth unemployment. But there’s a problem: the 6 billion euros they want to use to get to grips with the issue aren’t yet available.

Leaders agreed in February that they would set aside the money from the EU’s next long-term budget, which runs from 2014-2020, with the funds going towards a “youth guarantee” of training or a job within months of education ending.

But the European Parliament, which must approve the budget, has not yet done so, and there’s a good chance it won’t by the time EU leaders meet in Brussels on June 27-28.

“I’m not overwhelmingly optimistic,” was how one EU official responded when asked about the prospect of parliamentary approval during discussions on Tuesday and Wednesday.

While six billion euros is no small amount, diplomats acknowledge it’s largely a symbolic figure that won’t go far in tackling a vast and deepening problem. Yet it’s not the only niggle surrounding the youth scheme, which targets EU regions where youth unemployment exceeds 25 percent.

When the plans were being drawn up, most policymakers were focused on tackling youth unemployment in the southern European countries that have been hit hardest by the debt and economic crisis: Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal. Read more

“scarred for life” by joblessness

The European Union has laid out its plan to get Europe’s six million unemployed young people back to work, with officials warning that unless countries take action soon, they risk creating a generation “scarred for life” by joblessness.

Soaring unemployment across the bloc – where 26 million people are out of work – is top of the agenda at a summit of EU heads of state in Brussels next week. Young people have been hit particularly hard by the recession, with nearly a quarter of all under-25s out of a job.

Recommendations from the European Commission include a boost in spending on youth employment programmes, accelerating schemes already in the pipeline, and implementing policies to make creating and finding jobs easier. Read more

Economic crisis boosts UK youth self-employment

The number of young self-employed workers in the UK has risen by more than 70,000 since the economic crisis of 2008. With youth unemployment at record levels in some parts of Europe, many young people are looking to start their own business.

In April, 3.6 million people under the age of 25 were out of work in the eurozone, which translated to an unemployment rate of 24.4%.
See two youngsters who are going it alone.

If you have similar story please share it with us.