Youth unemployment rises significantly, TUC reveals
According to the analysis conducted by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), long-term youth unemployment in England has increased by 23% since May 2010.
The North West is the worst hit region with a 53% increase – 26,000 youngsters – in the number of 16-24 year-olds out of work for six months or longer. The East of England follows with 40% and Yorkshire and the Humber – 29%. London is the only area to have witnessed a small fall.
The previous Government's Youth Guarantee included the Future Jobs Fund. It was, however, replaced with the new Youth Contract. The TUC research shows that it has resulted long-term youth unemployment by the 26% fall of Government support.
According to the TUC study, the government will spend £98 million (€121 million) less this year on support for jobless young people claiming Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) in England. Previously that money was provided under the Youth Guarantee.
The North West has also witnessed the largest drop in funding. Nearly £16 million (€20 million) has been cut from budgets.
The TUC is concerned that with the new funding levels under the Youth Contract the cuts could be even sharper. It depends on employers taking-up the government's job subsidy places.
No statistics have yet been published on employer take-up levels. Concerns, however, have been raised by the manufacturers' organisation the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) that many employers do not know about the new scheme.
The TUC said the findings highlighted the impact that austerity measures have on young people. It also shows that the level of support given to them is inadequate.
The TUC believes that the lower funding, combined with the cuts of the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), the increase in tuition fees and the proposed decrease of housing benefit for under 25s, are making it much harder for young people to find decent long-term work.