By Maximilian Clarke

Addressing the UK skills gap may be key to boosting youth employment and restoring social cohesion in the UK’s cities.

Youth employment over the past two years has rocketed from just 60,000 to just shy of 1 million, fuelling inequality and further polarising wealth in the UK. The issue emerged as a recurrent theme during last week’s Conservative Party Conference. Tomorrow (Wednesday) will see the publication of the latest jobs figures, which commentators widely expect will confirm further rises.

"We need to understand more about what is happening in our communities in order to address real barriers to people getting into jobs. Work is about more than just money, it is key to social cohesion. The recent riots were a wake-up call,” Work & Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith said during an address at the party conference.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) argues that central to policies in boosting youth unemployment is the issue is skills. Employers, said REC member and managing Director of Manpower Mark Carhill, should also do their part in teaching applicants the skills necessary for their job.

"Recruiters are already a playing key role by going into schools and raising awareness amongst school-children and teachers," Carhill said.

"Galvanising this kind of involvement is the rationale behind the REC's Youth Employment Charter for the recruitment industry. The initiative will provide an ongoing opportunity for showcasing the difference that recruiters can make in this area."

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