A demanding job: finding sustainable employment for Britain's youth

Hit the gas coverCallum Biggins
July 2012

Rising youth unemployment is one of the greatest challenges facing Britain today. Despite attempts by successive governments to get more young people into work, the crisis shows no sign of abating.

This report finds that reputed enemies of youth employment, such as immigration and the national minimum wage, have contributed little to recent rises in youth unemployment. The most prominent factor has been a drop in demand for the labour of young workers with low skills.

The report urges the government to focus on schemes which stimulate demand for young workers and are responsive to local labour markets. It points to the Netherlands where municipalities are given cash by central government to get all young people into work or further training within three months of leaving school.

It also points to Manchester where the city council's work and skills partnership has generated over a thousand extra jobs for young unemployed people. The Manchester scheme provides participants with 'real' jobs that reflect normal working conditions, while using demand side incentives that encourage businesses to take on more young workers. CentreForum believes that such schemes should be rolled out elsewhere in the country.

Download the report.

Download the media release.