As young people we have become so used to receiving bad news about youth unemployment and the fight against it that it is a welcome change when there is a bunch of good news on the issue all at once.
For example, the most recent set of youth unemployment figures from the Office of National Statistics show that youth unemployment for February to April 2014 was 853,000, with a percentage rate of 18.5% – compared to 868,000 from January to March 2014 and a rate of 19%. It is 59,000 lower than the previous quarter – November 2013 to January 2014 – and the rate of 18.5% is 1.3% lower than the 19.8% recorded in that quarter. Though small steps, these are steps in the right direction. This is backed by a fall in the number of NEETS (young people not in education, employment or training).
The last few weeks have also seen a range of other good news for young people. These include the announcement of a number of apprenticeships, traineeships and other opportunities for young people which will be made available in relation to the new West Coast Main Line contract; the launch of the Fair Education Alliance at the Festival of Education; and the publication of a report from Lord Young of Graffham, the former Cabinet Minister and current adviser to the Prime Minister on enterprise. He argues in his report for a number of steps to encourage enterprise and entrepreneurial skills in young people, including embedding enterprise into school curriculum materials and examinations.