9 February 2012CMPO members Lindsey Macmillan, Jack Britton along with Professor Paul Gregg (of the University of Bath) have contributed towards a new report published by the Commission on Youth Unemployment finds that youth unemployment has reached emergency point. With 1 in 5 young people not in employment, education or training and a quarter of a million unemployed for over a year, the Commission says youth unemployment is not only one of the greatest challenges facing the country in human terms, but is also a £28bn timebomb under the nation’s finances.
'Youth unemployment - the crisis we cannot afford' identifies hotspots across Britain where youth unemployment has reached emergency levels. In these 600 hot-spots, covering 152 local authority areas, the proportion of young people claiming Jobseekers Allowance is double the national average.
The Commission, Chaired by David Miliband MP on behalf of ACEVO, the charity leaders body, makes practical recommendations on what can be done to make Government’s ambition of abolishing long-term youth unemployment achievable.
New research in the report shows that current levels of youth unemployment will cost the public purse at least £4.8 billion in 2012 and its scarring effects will cost £2.9 billion a year in the future. The net present value of the wider costs to the Treasury, even looking only a decade ahead, is £28 billion - that is the true measure of the potential economic damage.
The report tackles the two challenges behind the headlines: the current crisis of rocketing youth unemployment driven by low levels of demand for young people’s labour, and Britain’s long-standing structural youth unemployment problem. The report calls for emergency action and a rethink in how we put existing resources to work more effectively.
Speaking on the report, David Miliband MP said,
“Britain faces a youth unemployment emergency. This is a crisis we cannot afford. Government have set the right goal - abolishing long-term youth unemployment - but we will need big change if we are to achieve it.
“Young people, Government, communities and employers will all need to up their game if young people are to succeed in a radically changing jobs market. Our report sets out a practical routemap for how they can do precisely that. The crisis of youth unemployment can and must be tackled now. With action we can make a real difference across Britain.”
Baroness Stedman Scott, Commission member and chief executive of charity Tomorrow’s People said,
“Finances are tight, but our report shows how – with imagination and intelligence – we can use the money available to change the minefield that many face when they leave school to a smoother path to employment, independence and security.”
Sir Stephen Bubb, CEO of ACEVO said,
“Youth unemployment has been a burning issue for voluntary sector leaders for years now. The current numbers only serve to reinforce that concern. Charity CEOs are ready and willing to be a key part of the solution, but we need Government and the private sector to work with us. The current crisis will only be solved if we see this as a priority for us all.”
Read the full report; 'Youth unemployment: a crisis we cannot afford' (PDF, 7.6 mB). With contributions from CMPO members Paul Gregg, Lindsey Macmillan and Jack Britton.
The Commission on Youth Unemployment was set up in September 2011 by ACEVO (the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations), in response to widespread concern amongst voluntary sector leaders about youth unemployment.
The Commission was chaired by Rt Hon David Miliband MP. The other members of the Commission were: Baroness Stedman-Scott (CEO, Tomorrow’s People), Prof. Paul Gregg (University of Bath), Katherine Kerswell (whose career in local government has included chief executive roles in four councils), and Jonathan Portes (Director, National Institute for Economic and Social Research).
ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations www.acevo.org.uk) is the professional body representing charity and not-for-profit sector chief executives in the UK, with over 2000 members. The broad not-for-profit sector now employs the full-time equivalent of 1.5m staff, with a collective annual turnover of £46bn. ACEVO is committed to improving third sector leadership skills worldwide.
Britain faces a youth unemployment emergency. This is a crisis we cannot afford. Government have set the right goal - abolishing long-term youth unemployment - but we will need big change if we are to achieve it.