Economic recovery won’t solve long-term youth unemployment, think tank warns

A full economic recovery may be on the cards for the UK, but a return to economic prosperity will not necessarily solve the problem of long-term youth unemployment, a leading think tank has warned.

According to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a centre left think tank, despite falling levels of unemployment, there remains a significant proportion of young people out of work.

The report says that currently there are still 868,000 out-of-work 16 to 24-year-olds, representing 17.8% of unemployed people.

The report also highlights discrepancies between the type of training young people are doing and the types of jobs available.

Examples include just 123,000 people training for the construction and engineering sectors for an advertised 275,000 jobs. Meanwhile 94,000 people trained in hair and beauty despite there being just 18,000 jobs available in the sector, the BBC reports.

Tony Dolphin, IPPR chief economist, said: “We can learn lots from countries like Germany and the Netherlands.

“A strong workplace-based vocational education and training system, with high employer involvement, contributes more to a smoother transition from education to work and a low rate of youth unemployment than anything else.”

But a spokesman for the government’s Department for Work and Pensions slammed the report as “misleading”.

“Youth employment is up, youth unemployment has been dropping for 10 months in a row and the number of young people claiming the main unemployment benefit has dropped for 31 months in a row to around 250,000,” the spokesman said.

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