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Youth unemployment exacerbated by transport barriers

A lack of affordable transport is exacerbating young people’s ability to access employment, education and training, a new report has warned.

The Work Foundation found that particularly for those living in rural areas, or in part-time work, transport can present a significant barrier to entering and staying in work.

Inadequate public transport routes and jobs in generally low-paid sectors mean that many may be unable to pay for fare rises in 2013. The Work Foundation is calling for Government to implement policies to reduce these barriers to youth employment.

Katy Jones, lead report author and researcher at The Work Foundation said: “Nearly one million young people are unemployed and for many lack of affordable transport is a key barrier to finding work. Yet central government policy does little to address this. The government should guarantee concessionary fares for young, long-term unemployed people. To keep support in line with participation in education and training, it should also extend transport assistance up until the age of 18, in line with planned increases in the participation age.”

Co-author Neil Lee added: “Local authorities also have an important role to play. They need to ensure young people are adequately consulted on the planning and provision of local transport services. Local authorities should provide stable, long-term support for community and personal transport schemes (such as the widely endorsed Wheels 2 Work schemes). In addition, information services such as Traveline need to be better advertised, accessible and accurate.

“We are also calling on Work Programme providers to take action and ensure transport obstacles faced by young people are individually identified and addressed within the scheme.”

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