By Max Clarke
The Coalition Government this morning vowed to address Britain’s worsening youth unemployment crisis with the publication of a report, Supporting Youth Employment.
“This is about more than getting our economy back on track. It’s about more than improving the jobless numbers. It’s about changing people’s lives. Showing our young people we believe in them and backing that faith with action,” Prime Minister David Cameron said.
There are currently almost 670,000 young people unemployed and not in full time study. The measures outlined in the paper are designed to ensure that young people have the opportunity to get work to support economic growth, to advance their career prospects and encourage social mobility and help fill some of the 500,000 vacancies currently in the job market.
A £60m commitment to get more vulnerable young people into work, a boost to apprenticeships and radical reforms to transform vocational education are part of a series of measures outlined by the Government today to prioritise youth employment, and tackle some of the long term structural barriers that stop some young people from getting a job and starting their career.
But the scheme has received criticism, with the Unite union labelling the move a ‘mirage’ that fails to address the underlying problems in the economy exacerbated by Chancellor George Osborne’s cuts policy.
Said unite General Secretary, Len McCluskey: ”Business needs more comprehensive help from government if it is to power the recovery. And young people need more from a government that has pledged to stay wedded to savage economic policies that even Mrs Thatcher would have blanched at.“