UK’s young people continue to bear the brunt of the financial crisis

12 June 2013

  • Share

Martin Cook, managing partner commercial, UK & Ireland at EY (EY) comments on today’s youth unemployment figures:

“Youth unemployment has continued its downward trend from the start of the year but, with around 950,000 16 to 24 year olds still facing the jobs queue, there’s little solace to be found in these latest figures.

“The UK’s young people are still bearing the brunt of the financial crisis, with the youth unemployment rate more than 15 percentage points higher than that of 50 to 64 year olds. Businesses and government need to step up to the plate urgently to avoid a potentially longer term problem. 

“But progress is slow going. Youth unemployment levels have only inched back from the peaks of last year, which saw one million young people out of work, and remain well above historical norms.  Before the recession, youth unemployment was at around 15%. It’s now more than 20%.
“With warnings from the EY ITEM Club that UK employment levels for 2013 won’t be able to match the strength of last year’s pick up, there is a big question mark over whether the outlook for young people in the UK will improve any time soon. This may be fuelled in part by the changes happening in industry, from outsourcing, to the maturing of service industries like technology and financial services, which have always been large recruiters of graduates.

“The G8 meeting last week and the introduction of the new social impact bonds has helped shine the spotlight on some of these issues. At EY we are also trying to play our part, taking on over 750 graduates and school leavers every year. We have also developed a targeted Smart Futures programme, which is designed to unlock career opportunities for ambitious year 12 students from some of London’s most underprivileged boroughs, and continue to support budding entrepreneurs through our Accelerate scheme and partnerships with Striding Out.”