THE number of young people unemployed in Winchester has almost doubled since the start of the recession, a new survey reveals.
The Prince’s Trust, which works to tackle youth unemployment, published its annual Youth Index last week (Jan 2).
It said the number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work in July 2008 was 1,100, compared to 2,100 in July 2013 – an increase of about 91 per cent.
The trust also said that 16 per cent of young people across the South East had experienced mental health issues, including suicidal thoughts or panic attacks, as a direct result of unemployment.
One in five of those surveyed said they felt like an ‘outcast’.
Last year the charity worked with 3,871 disadvantaged young people across the South East and staff say they have seen a 188 per cent increase in the number of young people claiming benefits for more than six months since the beginning of the recession.
Hampshire County Councillor Alan Dowden is the Liberal Democrats spokesman on adult social care. He said: “We have serious financial constraints but I do believe sometimes we can find money for wars quite readily, and we dish money out all over the world, but charity starts at home and we should be looking after our own youngsters.
“They’re the lost generation. Most unemployed adults have experienced work and have had some training, of whatever kind. But these young people who have not experienced it could get trapped in a cycle.”
Chief executive of Winchester Citizens Advice Bureau, Jenny Meadows, said she was surprised at the drastic increase.
“When young people come to us it’s generally about consumer-type issues, such as mobile phone contracts, but we have got quite a few other unemployed people who get tied up in payday loans. When they get to the stage when they cannot pay them back, then what do they do?”
“In Winchester the number of young people coming into the bureau who are in difficulty because they’re unemployed has been quite steady,” she said.
But Dermot Finch, southern regional director of The Prince’s Trust, said in the South East there are 7,360 young people facing long-term unemployment and that many of those slip under the radar.
“Our research highlights that unemployed young people are significantly less likely to ask for help if they are struggling to cope. Our message to them is this: there are organisations out there that can help you. At The Prince’s Trust, we provide vulnerable young people with sustained support, through both our long-term personal development programmes and our work within schools across the capital. If you are struggling to get back into work, education or training, you are not alone and you need not struggle alone,” he said.
Half of young British ‘Neets’ are not even looking for work, a damning international report has revealed.
Around 500,000 youths who are not in education, employment or training – known as Neets – have given up trying to earn a living.
They have ‘fallen under the radar’ not only due to their appallingly low levels of skills but also because they have abandoned hunting for jobs altogether.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned that Britain’s Neets have ‘lost touch and hope’, and find themselves ‘far from the labour market’.
The renowned international think tank analysed labour force studies from across the world for the report.
It found ‘a relatively high share’ of 15 to 29-year-old Neets in the UK were ‘inactive and not looking for a job’.
The figure stood at 56 per cent for this age group, and above the OECD average of 53.8 per cent, according to 2013 data.
One in four Neets in the UK had been unemployed for more than six months and faced ‘risks of skills erosion’.
The OECD report analysed findings from 22 countries which took part in a 2012 survey of adult skills.
The UK has the biggest gap in literacy and problem-solving skills between 16 to 29-year-old Neets and young employed people out of all the countries surveyed.
There was a 12.6 per cent difference in literacy between the two groups – double the OECD average of 6.5 per cent – and a 9.6 per cent gap in problem solving.
British Neets can claim a range of benefits, including Jobseeker’s Allowance if they are aged over 18 and looking for work.
Even those who are not trying to find a job can generally apply for carer’s allowance, disability benefits and income support.
An OECD briefing document on the UK said: ‘Due to insufficient skills and preparation for the labour market, many youths are neither employed nor in education or training.
‘Policies should focus on helping the Neet, including those who have become disengaged, to renew with education or integrate into the labour market.’
It added: ‘Many of the Neets are far from the labour market not only due to their low skills but also because they are not looking for a job and thus may have fallen under the radar of education and labour market institutions.’
The countries in the study with the fewest ‘inactive’ Neets were Spain and Greece, while Mexico and South Korea had the most.
Office for National Statistics figures show there were 963,000 16 to 24-year-old Neets in the UK between October and December.
This represented around one in seven young people. More than half were classed as ‘economically inactive’ as they were either not looking for work or not available for it.
Under reforms to the system, teenagers have to stay in some form of education or training until they are 17. This is rising to 18 starting with the year group that took their GCSEs last summer.
The Department for Education said: ‘Following years of stagnation in international education league tables, this Government’s relentless focus on standards is ensuring thousands more young people are able to read, write and add up.’
The proportion of young people in England not in education, employment or training – known as Neets – has fallen to its lowest level for 20 years, thanks to a larger number staying on at school, new government figures show.
Some 81% of 16-18-year-olds were in education or work-based learning at the end of 2013, an increase of two percentage points since the previous year, while the proportion of Neets fell from 9.2% in 2012 to 7.6% in 2013 – the lowest level since similar records began in 1994.
Participation in full-time education among 16-18-year-olds rose to its highest-ever level of 70% at the end of 2013, with the increase divided between those who stayed on at school and those who went into higher education. Nearly 94% of all 16-year-olds were in education or work-based learning, while 12,000 fewer 16-year-olds were classified as Neets.
The improvement follows legislation raising the school leaving age, with 2013 being the first year that 16-17-year-olds are required to be in full-time education or vocational training. The participation age will rise again next year to 18.
Matthew Hancock, the skills and enterprise minister, said the changes would benefit the prospects of thousands of young people across England: “A clearer link from education to work, more rigour, and record numbers of apprenticeships have all helped give more young people what they need to get the jobs available.”
How how do these facts pair up with Magaret Hodg’s findings? You tell me!
Around 100,000 teenagers whose jobs or training should be tracked by Whitehall have disappeared off the radar, parliament’s spending watchdog has said.
Margaret Hodge, the committee’s chair, said 148,000 out of two million 16- to 18-year-olds in England were known not to be in education, employment or training – widely described as Neets – and figures appeared to show that another 100,000 were unaccounted for.
“If the activity of young people is unknown to the local authorities where they live, they are unlikely to receive targeted help. It would seem common sense that the main reason the number of Neets is down is that the law has changed to require young people to continue in education or training until at least their 18th birthday. It is difficult to show that any other interventions, such as careers advice, have been effective,” she said.
The report said the Department for Education (DfE) recognised it could do more and would work with councils to identify and share good practice. In some areas the activity of 20% of young people was unknown, compared with a national average of 7%, the committee said.
The MPs called for the DfE to state what it would do if the careers advice offered by a school was found to be poor, and raised concerns that many councils did not help teenagers with the cost of travelling to school or college.
David Simmonds, chair of the Local Government Association’s children and young people board, said councils needed further powers to ensure partners shared information on teenagers.
“Too often the challenging task of reducing teenage disengagement is made far more difficult when schools, colleges, jobcentres, national schemes and UCAS do not provide the information needed to identify those in need of help,” he said.
“Councils know that transport costs can be a real barrier to post-16 education for young people. Despite not being legally required to do so, many councils have dug deep to try to fund travel costs for young people to get to college.”
I was hoping to have a break from blogging (nagging) but here we go again. Subject of the week? I’m not altogether sure whether it’s racism, attitudes towards rape or simply cave -dwelling men, but together? I feel certain we’ll find out! I currently reside in an affluent town in an affluent county amongst some of the richest and some of the most intentionally impoverished folk in the UK. Tll you what, as this blog progresses I’ll intorduce them to you all & then you can make up your minds as to what i’m trying to say.