REC Taskforce demands more action on youth unemployment

Filed under Press release

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Released on 23 March 2011

The UK now has one in five young people not in employment, education or training, the worst figures since records began. These unprecedented numbers led to the REC reconvening its Youth Employment Taskforce last Thursday to take stock of recent developments.

Chaired by Baroness Prosser, Deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Taskforce met at the House of Lords to review progress since last year’s report. The meeting also focused on future collaboration between the REC and organisations such as the Employer and Education Taskforce, the National Apprenticeships Service and the CIPD.

Taskforce Chair, Baroness Prosser said:

“Young people are struggling to get a foothold in the world of work and unfortunately, the situation is getting worse. Without immediate action to improve their prospects and to build better bridges into the world of work, we risk not only a lost generation, but a profound and damaging impact on wider social mobility.”

Kevin Green, the REC’s Chief Executive, said:

"There is a need for urgent action on youth unemployment. The number of young people outside our labour market is now a national scandal. We are expecting concrete measures to be announced in this afternoon’s Budget. We will continue to drive for action through our coalition of employers, recruiters, welfare providers and education experts.”

At its latest meeting, the Taskforce reviewed recent progress and reiterated its calls for Government to implement specific recommendations including:

• Incentivising job creation - by creating a National Insurance holiday of at least one year for each young person taken on by an SME, and exploring other fiscal incentives for employers
• Enhancing internships by promoting a user-friendly framework for employers covering areas such as  job-descriptions, pay levels and fair access to internship opportunities
• Promoting apprenticeships by reviewing current funding models. These act as a barrier and lead to a 'tapering off' of employer support
• Undertaking a deep-rooted reform of the careers services so it adequately prepares young people for the world of work
• Drive employer involvement in colleges and schools. The REC's partnership with the Employer and Education Taskforce will help to build on existing networks.

The latest unemployment figures put the current number of young people not in education or employment at 974,000, the highest since records began.


Contact: Ed Sexton

Phone: 020 7009 2192

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