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60seconds Sam: How can we help more young people into work?

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Sam Naz Sam Naz | 17:04 UK time, Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Lately, stories about job cuts have featured heavily in our bulletins. With youth unemployment reaching almost a million, it's become clear that young people are bearing the brunt of the current economic downturn. We'll be tackling this issue and passing on top tips on how to improve your chances of getting a job in BBC Three's new series Up For Hire Live next week.

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Latest figures show that between June and August the number of young people out of work jumped by 74,000 to a total of 991,000. Overall, 2.57 million people are now unemployed across the UK - a 17-year high.

What's being done to help young people get jobs?
In May, David Cameron vowed to reverse the trend of rising youth unemployment. The coalition government announced measures worth £60million to help vulnerable young people get into work. They include 250,000 more Apprenticeships over the next four years and 100,000 work placements over the next two years.

Job Centre Photo by AP

However, Labour was quick to dismiss the package as "inadequate". They believe the real problem is the lack of growth in the economy leading to fewer jobs for young people. Last month, the Shadow Education Secretary Andy Burnham told Labour's party conference that school leavers were being left to "fend for themselves" and more needs to be done to help kids who don't plan on going to university. He's calling for a clearer central system for Apprenticeships.

Unions have also been pressing for more action to tackle the problem. The TUC general secretary Brendan Barber criticised the government's decision to axe the Future Jobs Fund - a scheme that created temporary jobs for young people who were long-term unemployed. He's urged ministers to stop their deep spending cuts.

So, where do you think the problem lies? What should the government be doing to get this huge jobless figure down? Or should big businesses be doing more to help young people get a job? Let us know what you think.

You can watch Up For Hire Live nightly from 17th-20th October on BBC Three at 9pm and get involved by tweeting @bbc3tv using #UpForHire or go to the Up For Hire Facebook page where you can also read up on advice given by the different companies involved in the show.

If you're struggling to find work check out the Up For Hire website - there's lots of help and advice on putting together your CV, applying for jobs and preparing for interviews.

Journalist Sam Naz presents the 60seconds news bulletins on BBC Three


  • Comment number 1.

    Apprenticeships are a waste of time. Take being an ellectrical apprentice, you need to already have an employer so that you can get the practical experience and employers want experience NOT just qualifications but you cannot get the experience without first getting hired. What incentives are there to employ young people? None, made harder by encouraging older people to stay in work longer. Now the Gov is reducing expenditure there are even fewer jobs available and even fewer with long term prospects. Simply there is no joined up plan to even enable the qualified young to find work and for the unqualified the plan seems to be to keep them unemployed for the rest of their lives. I wonder why the youth feels disconnected from politics?

  • Comment number 2.

    Get more old people out of work. It is ridiculous that people in their 70s and 80s should be encouraged to carry on working whilst youngsters have no jobs.

  • Comment number 3.

    Simple answer is education. I mean education with the skills needed by businesses, the core of these are still the basics of literacy and numeracy. We (company) cannot find individuals below the age of 40 with the technical skills and ability needed to help us grow. Is this our fault by having a growing technical company, or the education systems fault for losing the plot in terms of what industry needs?

    My blood boils when individuals are interviewed who are continuously job hunting without success. The question I keep yelling at the TV is "What skills have you got to offer?"

  • Comment number 4.

    Seeing that ONLY big manufacturing companies can absorb large numbers of employees and the New Labour government merrily waved them goodbye as they relocated abroad,I suppose that the answer to the question must be YOU CANNOT.

    Certainly,you cannot until manufacturing is relocated to the UK and the young people are trained to work in those industries.

    The logic of that position is that Britain must adopt protectionism.

  • Comment number 5.

    I believe the real reason behind it is that employers do not give young people a chance. If you don't have experience they brush you off, so how are you meant to even obtain it in the first place? They won't even consider you if you don't have experience as they 'don't have the time to train'. (I know this through working) Blaming the economy is just an excuse to not have to deal with a younger generation. These people are deemed, sadly in the eyes of the media and society, incapable and lazy which in most cases is total non sense. Give youth a chance!

  • Comment number 6.

    I've tried to train young people, who say they want my job, to do it, so I can retire without leaving my colleagues in difficulty. However, the former generally don't listen to that much of what I have to say. Why should they? I'm over 35, so therefore know nothing that could possibly be of relevance to them, I suppose is their analysis. What do they assume? That anything worth knowing only arose in the last 20 years, and older people weren't paying attention by then?

    The result is I keep getting asked back, and the young don't get taken on permanently.

  • Comment number 7.

    state aid need to be even more limited, i have family memebers who in their early 20's have never had a job EVER they get job seekers allowance and their home paid for ! how come i can be made redundant twice in 12 months and still get work, plenty of jobs out there to get, not all ideal but its work if these kids wanted to work they can find it. a majority feel hard done by on min wage but its better than nothing . remove the free housing/unemployment wage and MAKE then accept jobs . if i dont work i loode my home, i have a responsability to be in work. granted times are very hard but i see lots of jobs advertised daily ! a lot will say they wont work for min wage but with no skills or degrees behind them what do they expect £30k a year !!! reality check.

  • Comment number 8.

    While you have been reading this article, 8 foreigners have got into this country from abroad via the airports, ports and Eurotunnel.

  • Comment number 9.

    No job without experience, no experience without a job. Break the cycle to solve the problem. However, why should a company pay the costs to train someone only for that person to leave when they have gained experience and thus be out of pocket?

  • Comment number 10.

    This is a complex question....clearly the ansawer is to create opportunity and funding for training schemes.This is not simple as the older more experienced professionals who would train these people are on the dole too.Firstly get the experienced people back to work age 45-65 as they are the most expensive people to not work.Talk to the CBI and secure a training scheme in every uk company funded by government.

    Reverse imergtration 300,000 overseas workers to be asked to leave so releasing houses and job places.Provide link loans and tax breaks to SME's get longterm UK 45-65 unemployed opportunities at all levels.This will provide a spring board for limited apprentice schemes as the economy starts to move.

    The lunt right policy of spending 200 billion over ten years on work schemes and burocrats is lunacy and ameturish.This money should go directly to providing opportunities for SME to secure finance linked with jobs.

    Clearly these proposals are the only way to practice quantitive easing.The rest will fail!!

    Giving 200 billion to people who already have jobs is madness!

  • Comment number 11.

    We have to limit the number of non-Brits coming to the Uk to work. The number we have here - to experience London and to improve their English - is far too high for our population and they are swamping out our youngsters at part and full time job level. Yes they may be more educated - they are usually post graduates or students competing against our 16-19 year olds and prepared to take lower wages but that is causing our problem. Our post graduates can't work in Eastern Europe so if we have a job shortage here we must think of our kids. 1 million young unemployed youngters and yet I saw 2 Eastern Europeans being trained in a high street shop only yesterday - 2 jobs I am sure our kids would have applied for but got passed over for.

  • Comment number 12.

    My experience of many youngsters these days is that they want a job of their choice handed to them on a plate. If what they're offered is not to their liking, they don't turn up for work, but report to their JobCentre and qualify for another week's unemployment benefit.

    Part of the problem lies with the careers advice they receive on completing their education. It seems that a university degree in media studies or some other pointless academic qualification is all they are directed towards - instead of a good vocational career with the added benefits of apprenticeship and ultimately self-employment. There are plenty of opportunities as a plumber, electrician or other hands-on job, but half the trouble is that getting out of bed and doing a decent day's work doesn't seem to appeal any more.

    This I-can't-be-bothered attitude is reflected in the job interview when applicants, if they bother to show at all, turn up unprepared, poorly dressed, and unable to articulate or communicate properly. It's no wonder that employers decline to take them on, and have become so selective in their choice. They are in business, and don't expect to have to teach applicants the rudiments of behaviour and attitude, as well as the job they would like them to have.

    When I scan through the jobs on offer in the local newspaper, there are many firms advertizing for carers, who have an important and responsible role to play in welfare. The same advertisements appear week after week, so it's clear that youngsters turn their noses up at anything that looks like hard work.

    I support the idea that everyone should retire at age 65, whether they like it or not, to make room for youngsters leaving school. It presupposes that a retiree has been working for at least 45 years, and therefore had plenty of time in which to build up an adequate retirement pension. On the other hand, exgraduates commencing employment when into their late 20s, and expecting to retire in their mid-50s, will have accumulated very little to support them in retirement.

  • Comment number 13.

    The simple and perhaps only reliable long term solution is...

    1. Reverse the decades of deliberate dismantling of local economies

    2. Stop encouraging or even name and shame minimum wage employers (eg: Tesco)

    3. Restructure taxes so those in work no longer need benefits to survive. It's grossly wasteful and inefficient tax employers and the higher paid to enable benefits, it's far better to pay the low paid better in the first place.

  • Comment number 14.

    1. Stop immigration. 2. British jobs for the British first. Reverse the cuts and get the money back off the banks.
    Simple. But it won't happen. Our politicians are a joke and could not care less about our young people. After all, they only have to give them £50 a week.

  • Comment number 15.

    Educate them.
    The standard and attitude of school leaver and university graduate, in general, is poor. Far too many with poor and sub standard English and Maths.
    A poor work ethic and unrealistic outlook on life in general
    Victims of the media junk culture and a moral malaise.
    Their are a better standard of foreign worker / graduate (and less problems)

  • Comment number 16.

    Thanks to 13 years of socialism, where kids were pandered to and everyone has all the rights in the world, large swathes of kids today cant write except for txt speak and are unemployable. See them marching on the news? Half of them had piercings on their faces - who is going to employ them? The place where I work openly writes off youngsters when it comes to applications for jobs as the quality is so poor!!

    You know who to blame!

  • Comment number 17.

    To get young people into work the government should reintroduce the 10p tax rate and the married mans allowance, scrap all the other crazy allowances such as childcare, job seekers, maternity, paternity leave and also the minimum wage. This will allow young people a chance to compete with immigrants who are prepared to work for what our younger generation consider 'peanuts'.

  • Comment number 18.

    Why don't employers ask for jobs in relevance and skill/intelligent level first. My last few jobs have been merchandising and promotions.If you put them in order you don't see what Im capable of as they only look at the first few rubbish jobs not the pro design or graphic designer role for few years ago. Also why penalize someone for having lots of low grade pocket money jobs saying job hopper instead of he bothered to work doing low pay no brain dumb jobs rather than being on the dole.

    The notion of any experience counts is a lie and why ask for the truth when you get rejected for it.?

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi, I heard about your programme from a work colleague. How can employer's get any suitable vacancies they may have broadcast on your programme?


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