The Creative Society is an arts employment charity that helps young people into jobs in the creative and cultural industries.
Fears are growing that a generation of young people may be lost to the recession as new figures reveal a record number of 18 to 24-year-olds are now not in school, college or work.
Statistics published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families show the number of “Neets” (those not in education, employment or training) has risen to 835,000, an increase of more than 100,000 in the last twelve months. Neets now account for over 17% of the 18 to 24-year old age group.
Similarly the number of 16 to 18-year-olds not at school, work or in training has also risen, by 24,000 to 233,000, to nearly 12 per cent of the age group.
Overall, nearly one milion 16 to 24-year olds – 1 in 6 – are now classified as Neets. Opposition parties and trade unions have been quick to condemn the Government’s handling of the crisis.
In response Chancellor Alistair Darling hasemphasised the Government’s “September guarantee”, which ensures a place in education or training this September for every 16 and 17-year-old who wants to stay on at school or college.
Nevertheless, the number of Neets is expected to rise further as the job market shrinks in the coming months.
Britain’s youth unemployment rate is now the highest in Europe and Britain stands a very real chance of a whole generation of young people being lost to the scrapheap of long-term unemployment.Urgent action is needed.