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Wasted Youth

Many young school leavers have struggled to find work for years. Now the economic crisis has made things worse. Paul Johnson of the IFS investigates the roots of the problem.

Many young school leavers have struggled to find work for years. Now the economic crisis has made things worse. Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies investigates the roots of the problem. He discusses the challenge faced by those - particularly boys - who dislike classroom learning, and the often chaotic transition from school to the world beyond. And he hears about the key importance of work experience at the earliest stage to enable young people to acquire the skills and attitudes employers want. But how much can be changed as employers hold onto their older workers during the downturn, leaving youngsters even further behind?

Interviewees include the youth unemployment and vocational education specialists Alison Wolf and Paul Gregg, employers and specialist trainers in Wiltshire, and the new Scottish minister for youth employment.

Producer: Chris Bowlby.

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30 minutes

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