We need to talk about youth unemployment

Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken of plans to ban benefits for under 25s who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs). Under such measures, unemployed young people would lose access to their Jobseeker’s Allowance and Housing Benefit if they refuse to complete any training course suggested or refuse any job offer made to them.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference, David Cameron said this idea wants to address the problem of youth unemployment at its earliest stages. However, Richard Exell from The Trades Union Congress said the problem doesn’t lie with inactive young people but with the lack of opportunities to go around. “Apprenticeships at Rolls Royce are harder to get than a place studying at Oxford or Cambridge.”

He added that The European Youth Guarantee was an important step forward. “We need governments across Europe to be serious about implementing it, and by that I mean devoting the necessary resources.”

Steve Richards, political commentator for The Independent, said it’s easier for young people to find jobs in a healthy economy. He said: “When economies are recovering, people in their 50s struggle to get work, not younger people.”

This piece was originally published in the European Society newsletter, City University London.

Featured image by Jason Cartwright.