By Claire West

Today (Sunday), a group of business leaders in association with the Telegraph Media Group Limited will launch a national prize to help tackle youth unemployment.

The prize is hosted by the Henry Jackson Initiative and sponsored by Sir Alec Reed, founder of Reed Specialist Recruitment.

The prize will call for 1,000 word essays on “measures for reducing youth unemployment” with a £10,000 award for the winning entry and the potential for publication of the prize in the Sunday / Daily Telegraph and on telegraph.co.uk.

The winning entry will be the most innovative and well-argued proposal put forward to lower levels of youth unemployment.

The prize is a response to higher levels of youth unemployment globally: over 75 million young people are now unemployed with approximately one fifth of 16 — 24 year olds in the UK looking for work. Analysts fear “a lost generation” as periods of joblessness increase and it becomes harder to enter the workforce.

“High levels of youth unemployment cannot continue without great harm to individuals and to the whole of society,” said Fleur Brading, Managing Director of the Henry Jackson Initiative. “We believe this prize will draw attention to this critical issue and will mobilise action towards finding solutions for young people who are unemployed. It is of paramount importance that we find collaborative responses to a global challenge of this kind.”

“I believe that new and bold ideas can change the way we think about youth unemployment and will help develop original ways to combat joblessness,” said Sir Alec Reed, founder of Reed Specialist Recruitment and sponsor of the prize. “I am thrilled to sponsor this effort and look forward to learning what action might arise out of the endeavor.”

To enter the prize

To enter this competition, participants must submit an essay on measures for reducing youth unemployment by mail to:

HJI-Reed Prize on Youth Unemployment,

The Henry Jackson Initiative,

8th Floor, Parker Tower,

43 — 49 Parker Street,

London, WC2B 5PS

Or by email to info@henryjacksoninitiative.org. Essays must be in English and no longer than 1,000 words in length.