The first of the three policy areas we intend to focus on in tackling youth unemployment is creating more jobs for young people. Clearly, the most significant direct reason for the current rate of youth unemployment is the lack of jobs available. This is, however, not just a short-term problem due to the economic crisis or Eurozone crisis. While there is a short term lack of jobs, successive governments have not done enough to encourage or stimulate job creation, particularly in the private sector. In particular, they have not done enough to encourage businesses to take on young people. If there aren’t jobs for young people to go to then they won’t be employed – and a consistent core of young people have been entering youth unemployment (often long-term youth unemployment) even when the economy is booming.
Much more can be done in terms of encouraging employers to take on young people, including giving employers financial or other incentives to do so; championing local and regional initiatives on youth employment and making use of government procurement contracts, and also in terms of encouraging young people to set up their own businesses or become self-employed.
We are currently consulting on ways to create more jobs for young people. We are open to all points of view and would welcome any thoughts or suggestions on making it easier to get young people into work and creating more jobs for young people.