By Maria Tadeo
UK youth unemployment rose to one million people, the most dramatic jobless rate increase in nearly 15 years, according to the Office for National Statistics.
One in five young adults are now out of work and official figures show there were 1.02 million unemployed aged 16 to 24-year-olds between July and September 2011. The number of students also fell by 46,000 to 2.2m in September 2011.
A preoccupying set of figures that has sparked mounting concern for Britain’s so-called “lost generation”, a term now used to describe a new generation of jobless young British professionals with no occupation or no income.
Efforts to create new jobs in the private sector aimed at younger workers must be invigorated, as well as the funding of new learning schemes and vocational training courses, to prevent a new generation from becoming marginalised from the labour market.
According to figures released by the Prince’s Trust youth charity, the cost of youth unemployment and inactivity is approximately £20 million per week in job seeker’s allowance, and the productivity loss to the UK economy is estimated at £10m per day.
Most worryingly, the lack of work opportunities has been increasingly linked to rising crime levels for young people, already under the spotlight following the London riots, where a large majority of those who took part in the looting classified as neets- not in education, work or training.
Britain must act now.