We were in attendance at the latest meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Youth Employment on 19 October 2016.
The meeting was the first of the APPG’s new programme of meetings and inquiries for this Parliamentary year (2016-17), with our partners Youth Employment UK continuing as the secretariat of the group. This year the APPG will be running three inquiries:
- Youth unemployment data
- Education to Employment
- Supporting young people furthest from the labour market
This meeting was the initial meeting of their first inquiry on youth unemployment data, which included a presentation from Jatin Patel of Impetus PEF, talking about their Youth Jobs Index, as well as a wider discussion of the topic.
We contributed our thoughts to the meeting, including that the range of official statistics and data which are currently available (e.g. the ‘unemployment’ figures, the ‘NEET’ figures, the ‘claimant count’) do not always tell the full story or give a full picture about youth unemployment.
For example we noted that if statistics suggest the number of young people on unemployment benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance is falling that will usually be seen as a positive development, and rightly so.
However, those statistics would focus on whether a young person has come off benefits, not whether they have gone into work – and the two situations are not necessarily the same – a young person may have come off benefits but still be unemployed. So for example, we noted that some young people may still be unemployed but may be coming off unemployment benefits (or not going back onto them when they need to) because of failings of Jobcentre Plus and/or the benefits system. Further, the majority of young people who are unemployed and who are not full-time students do not claim Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit.
This means these young people, nearly 250,000, are therefore not registered with Jobcentre Plus for official help with their search for a job, and at least some of them are likely to need some sort of support.
More information on the meeting and this year’s inquiries is available via the Youth Employment UK and APPG websites.