Skills for Sustainable Development. Strategies to Tackle Youth Unemployment

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There is a crisis in youth employment in the UK and beyond. For at least a decade, transitions into good work have been getting harder, more extended and more precarious for young people. Since the crisis of 2008 it has become clear that the worst effects of labour market changes have been felt by young people. In particular, youth unemployment in the UK and beyond has jumped dramatically and remains stubbornly high. The reasons are complex and extended periods of unemployment at the start of someone’s working life can have a “scarring” effect which can lead to a range of worse outcomes across that person’s life. Youth unemployment presents us with a problem as a society that is likely to affect us for decades to come. This report explores the challenges facing young people in today’s labour market. It has a particular focus on young unemployed people and the policies and initiatives to help them find work. A further concern relates not only to the quantity of jobs available to young people, but also the quality. This is important because poor quality jobs can often act as “poverty traps” tracking young people into cycles of employment and unemployment rather than acting as “stepping stones” into decent work.


Ben Hopkins, Melanie Simms, Sophie Gamwell

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