Youth unemployment is now one of the greatest challenges facing the country. Nearly 1.5 million young people are currently not in education, employment or training – over one in five of all young people. A quarter of a million have been unemployed for over a year. The costs of these levels of long-term youth unemployment – now and in the future – are enormous. This is a crisis we cannot afford.
Unemployment hurts at any age; but for young people, long-term unemployment scars for life. It means lower earnings, more unemployment, more ill health later in life. It means more inequality between rich and poor – because the pain hits the most disadvantaged. It poses particular challenges for young women. And it means more division between communities: we have identified youth unemployment ‘hotspots’ in 152 local authority areas around the country, where the proportion of young people claiming unemployment benefit is twice the national average, where we estimate at least one in four young...
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