Government 'has let down a generation' according to National Union of Students
The Government is neglecting an entire generation, the National Union of Students has claimed ahead of fresh unemplyment figures due to be released today.
NUS president Liam Burns told the Western Daily Press that ministers were not looking after the employment needs of those aged between 18 and 24.
“We’re seeing a whole generation being left in the lurch by the government, which is leading to youth unemployment,” he said.
“You’re seeing a government that’s tripling fees, doing things like scrapping student jobs. Parliament needs to focus more on students.”
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The comments come following the release of figures from the Trades Union Congress which claims that youth unemployment is up 264 per cent in the last year.
The report goes on to say that unemployment between the ages of 18 and 24 has increased almost nine-fold over the last decade.
In 2000, the number of young people unemployed stood at 6,260. In the twelve years since, it has jumped by a massive 874 per cent to 60,955.
However, the figures may be slightly affected by a 25 per cent increase in the numbers attending university and an increase in the last decade in students depending solely on student loans.
The report from the TUC also shows that wages for young people are still lagging behind the national average. While the average wage increase since 2000 due to inflation has been 41 per cent, youth wages have only increased by 35 per cent.
This may be because of the number of graduates who are only able to secure low-skilled and low-paid jobs after university.
“Just because someone is lucky enough to get a job after university, doesn’t mean it’s a graduate job,” added Mr Burns. “The Government has let down this generation.”
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Our young people are already facing a toxic combination of increasing unemployment, high tuition fees and inadequate government support for those people out of work. Now we discover they are at a hugely increased risk of being long-term unemployed and are losing out in the wage stakes as well.
“Now is certainly not the time to be young in the UK, with figures showing more than one million people under 24 are unable to find work and the pay of those in work lagging well behind inflation.
“With a strong recovery still failing to take hold, the bleak prospects facing young workers and young jobseekers is going to be with us for some considerable time to come.”
Employment minister Chris Grayling disagreed with the findings, and said: “The TUC’s use of statistics is just plain wrong.
“Under the previous government the scale of long-term youth unemployment was hidden. People were transferred off Jobseekers Allowance temporarily through training allowances and short-term jobs. We’ve stopped doing that.
“When this is taken into account, long-term youth unemployment is lower than May 2010. Since then we have put in measures so young people can find real sustainable jobs.”