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Youth unemployment: the tip of the iceberg

The recent report published by the House of Commons library for Labour reveals the depressing reality of the youth unemployment issue. According to the report, young people who are 16-24 are more likely to be unemployed in comparison to the rest of the population. 

Also, according to the report the number of young people who come from ethnic minority backgrounds and are unemployed has risen by 50% during the coalition government. Edmonton is one of the most affected areas in London, since over 60% of its population is from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups.

The analysis published by the New Policy Institute in 2012 shows that the 16-24 years olds have been struggling to find jobs and are in a more challenging situation compared to the older adults in the population. According to the report around 1500-2000 young adults were unemployed in 2012 in Edmonton. 

The report also suggests that one of the barriers for the young adults in Edmonton is lack of experience, the local surveys show that employers are more interested in experience over qualifications. The young adults in Edmonton need work placements and apprenticeship opportunities in order to gain experience and build confidence.

The current situation with youth unemployment has made it more challenging for young adults to be motivated and have confidence in the job hunting process. It could not be argued that since the coalition government came into power young people have not been receiving the respect and services they need in order to become independent individuals who would contribute to our society. 

These figures are not surprising since the coalition government abolished the Educational Maintenance Allowances and raised the higher education tuition fees. In 2010 David Cameron claimed “we don’t have any plans to get rid of them” in his speech talking about the EMA. On the other hand Nick Clegg broke his promise of not increasing tuition fees. Dramatically the price of their dishonest actions and policies are being paid by the UK's young people.

It could be argued that the report reveals the importance - and connection - between education and employment. If the problem which is not only economic but also an ethnic problem is not addressed soon, and a solution is not delivered, it will be very challenging to solve it in the future.



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Kate Osamor MP

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