FACT: Youth unemployment is so high because there aren’t enough jobs.
This seems to be so obvious, you might be wondering why I feel the need to write a blog about it, but a large proportion of the Tory Party don’t seem to accept this. David Cameron announced at his conference this week his (unworkable) plans to deny all social security benefits to those under 25. Instead they must ‘learn or earn’. Implicit in this idea is that most young unemployed young people are out of work by choice, and removing the option of social security to these people will solve the problem. I don’t know whether they really believe this or not, but it’s a total myth.
When the economy is weak and unemployment is high, employers can afford to be more picky in their hiring. There are often numerous highly skilled or experienced people applying for the same vacancies as young unemployed people. Taking on the young person becomes a risk for the employer. Young people are moved to the back of the queue, and move further back the longer they are out of work. Even as the economy recovers, the young, the old and the long term unemployed still struggle to find work. It has nothing to do with aspiration or the choice to live a life on benefits.
The current stats bear this out. Including ‘inactive wants a job’, there are around 5 million people wanting a job but can’t find one and a further 1.4 million who are working part time but the ONS says there are just over 500,000 vacancies available currently.
So this latest idea from the Tories is ridiculous. To repeat, there just aren’t enough jobs.