Too many young people remain out of work, despite upbeat figures - CBI
The CBI commented on the latest ONS labour market data for the three months to June, showing that unemployment fell by 132,000 to 2.1 million, while youth unemployment fell to 16.9%. But with 767,000 young still people out of work more needs to be done.
The leading business organisation is also launching a new report today, Future Possible, outlining how business, the Government and schools must re-double their efforts to prepare young people for work and deliver the career options and network of support they need. The report calls for:
- Government to create a network of Back to Work Coordinators who can offer young people a personalised service and bring together all the different support services they might need, bypassing the current disjointed system
- Business to pledge to work harder to routinely provide constructive feedback to young people who attend interviews or assessment centres and, for those who don’t make it to this stage, provide a general set of “top tips” for future applications
- Government to retain the age-related structure of the National Minimum Wage to help employers offset the higher costs of hiring young people, incentivising recruitment.
John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:
“It’s encouraging to see the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest since 2008 with far more opportunities being created for young people.
“While disappointing this month, we would expect wage growth to pick up over time, but this can only go hand-in-hand with improving productivity.”
On the CBI’s Future Possible report:
“The latest figures are very upbeat, but we cannot ignore the fact that far too many young people are still out of work. Youth unemployment was rising even in the good times and is still high enough to fill Wembley Stadium over eight times.
“We cannot squander the talent of a generation and leave them at the back of the queue in life. Young people should be equipped with the skills they need to succeed and given the chance to show what they’re made of.
“Business, government and schools must do more to increase opportunities for young people to make their way in work and life. We also need a network of Back to Work Coordinators across the country who can bring together the well-intentioned but confusing web of support and advice that currently exists to help young people back into employment. A tailored, more personal approach is what’s needed and is sadly what the current system lacks.
“The Low Pay Commission has done well to strike the right balance between protecting jobs whilst ensuring those on the minimum wage benefit as the economic recovery takes hold, so it’s vital it is allowed to steer clear of any political interference.”