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Youth employability crisis

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Youth employability crisis

The uphill struggle facing this year’s crop of GCSE school-leavers is looking ever steeper, according to the results of the latest quarterly CIPD/KPMG Labour Market Outlook (LMO) survey of more than 900 employers.

It shows 16 to 18 year-olds are currently less likely to be hired than the long-term unemployed, with a quarter of employers (24 percent) planning to hire from this age group during the current quarter. In contrast, almost two-thirds of employers (63 percent) are hiring from the 19-24 age category, with a similar proportion of employers planning to recruit older workers.  
The results are consistent with the official figures from the Labour Force Survey, which show that 16-17 year-olds are suffering most of all in the jobs market. The number of 16-17 year-olds in employment has fallen by 18 percent during the past year; which compares with a five percent fall for 18-24 year-olds, a two percent fall for 25-34 year-olds and a two percent increase for workers above pensionable age. 
More than 200,000 16-17 year olds – one in three – are now unemployed and actively seeking work. Most alarmingly, the number of 16-17 year olds who have been unemployed for more than a year has increased by almost 100 percent, to over 20,000 during the past year. 
Gerwyn Davies, CIPD Public Policy Adviser, believes that a six-month work placement subsidy of £1,250 per person could offer vital help for 30 percent of 16-17 year olds who have been unemployed for more than six months: “School-leavers seeking work this year face a difficult enough task finding an employer willing to take on young people, let alone find a job.” 
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24 August 2009

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