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Youth unemployment response criticised

Government response to youth unemployment is “fragmented” and “insufficient”, a new report suggests. The Work Foundation is calling for the creation of a national youth unemployment unit to join up policy at a national level.

The report, ‘Short tem crisis, long term problem: Addressing the youth unemployment challenge’, examines the characteristics of young unemployed people and sets out the agenda for action.

The proposed unit would be headed by a minister responsible for the oversight and coordination of the Government’s response to unemployment and would engage with the relevant third sector bodies and local government representatives.

The measures recommended include the introduction of pre-apprenticeships, guaranteed part-time jobs after 12 months and travel subsidies as cost-effective steps to addressing critical barriers to finding work.

Dr Neil Lee, report author, said: “The Government should be addressing youth unemployment as one of its most urgent priorities, yet the response so far has been piecemeal. Youth unemployment is a complex issue.

“To tackle it, we must ensure that young people have the education and skills they need for the labour market, the incentives to get into work and the necessary knowledge of available opportunities.

“At present, the Government’s response is split across the Department of Education, BIS and DWP, with nobody responsibility for the big picture. If young people are to get the support they need, these areas must be joined up in a coherent approach.

“Coordinated action is needed to ensure these young people are given the skills, opportunities and information to enter and progress in the labour market.”

This is the first report from the Missing Million programme, a two-year project run by The Work Foundation aimed at increasing employment prospects for young people in theUK.

To view the report, visit:

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