The Creative Society is an arts employment charity that helps young people into jobs in the creative and cultural industries.
The Government’s publication of up-to-date unemployment figures last week has sparked much debate and controversy. The Guardian today reports that the youth unemployment rate in the UK is now the highest in Europe.
New Deal of the Mind has for many months warned that we stand to create a lost generation of unemployed young people as more and more school leavers are excluded from work. Increasingly now we hear the term “lost generation” being used by the Government and media alike.
Official figures showed that unemployment has hit a fourteen-year high, having risen by 220,000 in the three months to nearly 2.5 million – a jobless rate of 7.8%. The number of jobs in the UK has fallen by 600,000 in the last quarter and young people have been hit hardest. There are now 928,000 people under the age of 25 out of work.
Despite Lord Mandelson’s begrudging admittance that such levels are “unacceptable”, the Tories have been quick to condemn the Government for creating a lost generation of unemployed young people. Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Theresa May has called for the Government to adopt Conservative proposals to provide over 100,000 more apprenticeships for young people.
The Government’s Future Jobs Fund is expected to create thousands of new jobs for young people in the coming months. The organisations and Local Authorities that have bid successfully to the Fund will soon be in a position to start offering up to 47,000 paid placements for 18 to 24-year olds.
This however, is just a drop in the unemployment ocean. Joblessness is set to increase through this autumn and into next spring. More needs to be done and urgent action is needed.