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    Labour market live

    • Unemployment is 2,342,000, up 21,000 from      last month’s published figure (quarterly headline down 125,000)      and the unemployment      rate is 7.2%, up      0.1 percentage points on last month and down 0.4 percentage points on last      quarter.
    • The number of claimant      unemployed is 1,215,700, down 27,600 on last month, and the claimant rate is      3.6%.
    • The number      of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or      training) is 1,300,000, down 11,000 on the quarter,      representing 18.0% of the youth population (down 0.1      percentage points).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 917,000, down      48,000 on the quarter.
    • There are 4.1 unemployed      people per vacancy.
    • The employment      rate is 72.1% (no      change on last month’s published figure and up 0.3      percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    Labour Market Live

    • Unemployment is 2,320,000, down 68,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline down 167,000) and the unemployment rate is 7.1%, down 0.2 percentage points on last month and down 0.5 percentage points on last quarter.
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,247,000, down 24,000 on last month, and the claimant rate is 3.7%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,294,000, down 17,000 on the quarter, representing 18% of the youth population (down 0.2 percentage points).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 920,000, down 39,000 on the quarter.
    • There are 4.1 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 72.1% (up 0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.5 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).
    • There were 2.465 million Employment and Support Allowance or Incapacity Benefit claimants in November 2013 (up 35,000 on August 2013 and up 15,000 on September.

     

    Labour market Live

    • Unemployment is 2,388,000, down 78,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline down 99,000) and      the unemployment  rate is 7.4%, down  0.3 percentage points on last month and down 0.3 percentage points on last      quarter.
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,268,600, down 36,700 on last month, and the claimant rate is 3.8%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,305,000, down 15,000 on the quarter, representing 18.1% of the youth population (down 0.2 percentage points).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 941,000, down 19,000 on the quarter.
    • There are 4.3 unemployed  people per vacancy.
    • The employment  rate is 72% (up 0.2 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.4 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    Labour Market Live

    • Unemployment is 2,466,000, down 21,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline down 48,000) and the unemployment rate is 7.8%, down 0.1 percentage points on last month and down 0.2 percentage points on last quarter.
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,306,400, down 41,700 on last month, and the claimant rate is 3.9%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,311,000, down 50,000 on the quarter, representing 18.2% of the youth population (down 0.7 percentage points).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 965,000, down 9,000 on the quarter.
    • There are 4.5 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 71.8% (up 0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.3 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    Labour Market Live

    Unemployment is 2,487,000, the same as last month’s published figure (quarterly headline down 18,000) and the unemployment rate is 7.7%, the same as last month and down 0.1 percentage points on last quarter.

    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,351,100, down 41,700 on last month, and the claimant rate is 4.0%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,312,000, down 36,000 on the quarter, representing 18.2% of the youth population (down 0.5 percentage points).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 958,000, down 1,000 on the quarter.
    • There are 4.7 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 71.7% (up 0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.3 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    Naming and shaming of employers failing to pay the minimum wage

    Employers who fail to pay the national minimum wage (NMW) will be publicly named and shamed, Employment Relations Minister Jo
    Swinson has announced. The revised NMW naming scheme comes into effect in October 2013 and will strip back restrictions, making it simpler for governmentto name more employers who break the law.

    The new rules are part of government efforts to toughen up enforcement of the NMW and increase compliance. By naming employers
    it is hoped that bad publicity will be an additional deterrent to employers who would otherwise be tempted not to pay the NMW, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has said. The measure is on top of financial penalties which employers already face if they fail to pay NMW.

    Under the original scheme, employers had to meet to workers had to be at least £2,000 and the average per worker at least
    £500 before an employer could be referred to the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills from HM Revenue & Customs for naming. The revised scheme will remove these restrictions so that any employer who breaks minimum wage law can be named.

    In 2012 to 2013 HMRC identified 736 employers who had failed to pay the national minimum wage leading to the recovery of £3.9 million in unpaid wages for over 26,500 workers.

    For more information, please see the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website.

     

    Labour Market Live

    • Unemployment is 2,505,000, down 6,000 from last
           month’s published figure (quarterly headline down 57,000), and the unemployment
           rate
      is 7.8%, the same as last month and down 0.2
           percentage points in the last quarter.
    • The number of claimant unemployed is
           1,478,900 down 21,200 on last month, and the claimant rate
           is 4.3%.
    • The number of workless young people (not
           in employment, full-time education or training)
      is 1,348,000, down
           23,000 in the quarter, representing 18.6% of the youth population (down
           0.3 percentage points).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 959,000, down 20,000 in the
           quarter.
    • There are 4.8 unemployed people per
           vacancy
      .
    • The employment rate is 71.4% (down
           0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and down 0.1
           percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    Labour Market Live

    • Unemployment is 2,511,000, down 6,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline down 5,000), and the unemployment rate is 7.8%, the same as last month and the last quarter.
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,507,000 down 9,000 on last month, and the claimant rate is 4.5%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,340,000, down 14,000 in the quarter.
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 950,000, down 43,000 in the quarter.
    • There are 5.0 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 71.5% (a slight increase on last month’s published figure and the same as the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    Labour Market LIVE

    • Unemployment is 2,518,000, down 45,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline up 15,000), and the unemployment rate is 7.8%, down 0.1 percentage points on last month and up 0.1 percentage points on last quarter.
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,520,800, down 7,300 on last month, and the claimant rate is 4.5%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,362,000, up 22,000 in the quarter, representing 18.8% of the youth population (up 0.3 percentage points).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 958,000, down 17,000 in the quarter.
    • There are 5.0 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 71.4% (no change on last month’s published figure and down 0.2 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    Labour Market LIVE

    • Unemployment is 2,563,000, up 46,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline up 70,000), and the unemployment rate is 7.9%, up 0.1 percentage points on last month and up 0.2 percentage points on last quarter.
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,531,000, down 7,000 on last month, and the claimant rate is 4.6%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,371,000, up 32,000 in the quarter, representing 18.9% of the youth population (up 0.5 percentage points).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 979,000, up 20,000 in the quarter.
    • There are 5.2 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 71.4% (down 0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and no change in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    Labour Market Statistics For March 2013

    • Unemployment
           is 2,516,000, up 13,000 from last month’s published figure
           (quarterly headline up 6,000), and the unemployment rate is  7.8%.
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,541,900, down 1,500 on last month, and the claimant rate is 4.7%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,354,000, up
           13,000 in the quarter, representing 18.7% of the youth population (up 0.2 percentage points).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 993,000, up 48,000 in the quarter.
    • There are 5.1 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 71.5% (down 0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.3 percentage
           points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    The Creative Employment Programme

    The Creative employment programme was officially launched this week by Matthew Hancock MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business and Education, on behalf of national delivery organisation, Creative & Cultural Skills.

    The £15 million, National Lottery funded programme is aimed at increasing work and training opportunities for unemployed young people.

    The programme will provide funding for 6,500 new traineeships, apprenticeships and paid internship opportunities to help young unemployed people aged 16 to 24 enter the arts and cultural workforce.

    Driving culture change to enable growth

    The programme also aims to change recruitment culture in the sector by helping to diversify the workforce and provide fair access and progression routes in the long term, to help the sector to meet its economic potential.

    In his speech at the Creative & Cultural Skills annual industry conference, Mr Hancock urged employers in the creative and cultural sector to support the programme. He said:

    ‘TheUK’s world-beating creative industries should be open to those with the most to offer – regardless of background. But for too long, young people without money or connections have struggled to get a foot in the door.

    ‘This programme will help the industry meet its full economic and creative potential both by offering real employment opportunities to bright new recruits, and driving a culture change to put the sector on a firmer footing for growth.’

    A range of positions created across the sector

    Positions created will be in a wide range of disciplines, from technical to administrative roles, provided they are located inEnglandand fall within the Arts Council England’s footprint of: Music, Dance, Theatre, Literature, Visual Arts, Contemporary Craft, Combined Arts, Carnival, Circus, Galleries, Museums, and Libraries.

    Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said:

    ‘In order to ensure that this country continues to produce world-class art and culture we need to make sure that we have a world-class workforce.  There are a lot of passionate and ambitious young people out there and the Creative employment programme will give them the opportunity to develop the right skills from the very start of their career.

    ‘It’s also wonderful news for the sector as a whole which will ultimately benefit from the pool of talented and skilled creative professionals which this programme will help to nurture.’

    Find out more about the Creative employment programme.

     

    Increasing number of charities leave the mandatory work activity scheme

    The Guardian has reported on increasing number of charities leaving the mandatory work activity scheme, with Sue Ryder announcing its departure from the scheme last week, as well as Sense and PDSA announcing their withdrawal earlier this year. The newspaper also mentioned the departure of the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research, Age UK and Scope from the scheme in the past year.

    The newspaper said these departures are ‘leading to fears that the entire scheme could soon become unviable if not enough month-long placements can be found.’ Kirsty McHugh, Chief Executive of the Employment Related Services Association refuted these fears, and said there was ‘no evidence that work placements are proving harder to find.’

    Meanwhile, it was reported in Third Sector that Barnardo’s denies taking part in the scheme. Barnardo’s was one of the charities flagged by Boycott Workfare, which has been campaigning to end compulsory work placements, Third Sector has mentioned.

     

    Labour Market Information

    • Unemployment is 2,501,000, up 10,000 from last month’s published figure and the unemployment rate is 7.8%, up 0.1 percentage points.
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,540,900, down 12,500 on last month, and the claimant rateis 4.7%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,348,000, down 5,000 in the quarter, representing 18.6% of the youth population.
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 974,000, up11,000 in the quarter.
    • There are 5.1 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 71.5% (up 0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.3 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    Labour Market Information

    • Unemployment is 2,490,000, down 19,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline down 37,000), and the unemployment rate is 7.7%, down 0.1 percentage points (quarterly headline down 0.1 percentage points).
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,557,100, down 12,100 on last month, and the claimant rate is 4.7%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,346,000, down 18,000 in the quarter, representing 18.5% of the youth population (down 0.3 percentage points in the quarter).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 957,000, up 1,000 in the quarter.
    • There are 5.1 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 71.4% (up 0.2 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.1 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    Overview of the Labour Market

    The labour market figures published on 12 December were good. Employment and vacancies increased, while both unemployment and the Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant count decreased. In addition, there were further improvements for young people as youth unemployment, long-term unemployment and worklessness all continued to fall.

    Key facts are: 

    • Unemployment is 2,510,000, down 4,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline down 82,000), and the unemployment rate is 7.8%, the same as last month (quarterly headline down 0.2 percentage points).
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,575,100, down 3,000 on last month, and the claimant rate is 4.8%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,341,000, down 82,000 in the quarter, representing 18.5% of the youth population (down 1.1 percentage points in the quarter).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 945,000, down 72,000 in the quarter.
    • There are 5.2 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 71.2% (the same as last month’s published figure and as the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    Labour Market Live

    • Unemployment is 2,514,000, down 13,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline down 49,000), and the unemployment rate is 7.8%, down 0.1 percentage points on last month (quarterly headline down 0.2 percentage points).
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,582,200, up 10,100 on last month, and the claimant rate is 4.8%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,354,000, down 83,000 in the quarter, representing 18.6% of the youth population (down 1.1 percentage points in the quarter).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 963,000, down 49,000 in the quarter.
    • ·         There are 5.2 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 71.3% (down 0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.2 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    One in five UK workers paid less than the living wage

    One in five workers in the UK are paid less than the living wage, research from KPMG has shown. The report, ‘Living Wage Research for KPMG’, looks at the extent of sub-living wage employment and the effect it has on those low paid workers. The national minimum wage is currently £6.19 an hour, whereas the living wage is £7.20 an hour outside London, and £8.30 an hour inside London. The living wage is a rate which enables workers to afford a basic standard of living.

    Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of people earning below the living wage, followed by Wales. But London, the north west and the south east have the highest number of people earning below the living wage. Proportionally, 90 per cent of bar staff are paid below the living wage. While sales and retail assistants have the highest number of workers paid below the living wage – 780,000.

    Marianne Fallon, Head of Corporate Affairs at KPMG, said ‘that the improved motivation and performance, and the lower leaver and absentee rate amongst staff in receipt of a living wage means that the cost is offset and paying it is the right thing for our business.’

    The research is published ahead of Living Wage Week (4-10 November) when new rates for London and the rest of the country will be announced. Please see the full report on the KPMG website.

     

    Labour Market Live

    • Unemployment is 2,528,000, down 64,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline down 50,000), and the unemployment rate is 7.9%, down 0.2 percentage points on last month (quarterly headline down 0.2 percentage points).
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,567,300, down 4,000 on last month, and the claimant rate is 4.8%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,364,000, down 103,000 in the quarter, representing 18.8% of the youth population (down 1.4 percentage points in the quarter).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 957,000, down 62,000 in the quarter.
    • There are 5.3 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 71.3% (up 0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.5 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

     

    Labour Market LIVE

    Unemployment is 2,592,000, up 29,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline down 7,000), and the unemployment rate is 8.1%, up 0.1 percentage points on last month (quarterly headline down 0.1 percentage point).

    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,570,500, down 15,000 on last month, and the claimant rate is 4.8%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,423,000, down 27,000 in the quarter, representing 19.6% of the youth population (down 0.3 percentage points in the quarter).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 1,017,000, up 7,000 in the quarter.
    • There are 5.5 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 71.2% (up 0.2 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.5 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    Alternatives to University

    Notgoingtouni is the UK’s leading website for school & college leavers who are looking at the alternatives to university such as apprenticeships, voluntary work, sponsored degrees, diplomas, gap years, distance learning and entry level jobs.

    Their clients include: NHS, Kaplan, BPP, Fusion Training, QA, Pearson, British Gas, RBS, Aviva, LV, Hilton Hotels, Morrisons, Asda, Sainsbury, BP, Rolls Royce, Deloitte, Skills for Growth, Peter Jones Academy,Lloyds Bank, National Grid, BP, Asda, Hilton, Edf, PWC, Bank of England, Barclays, Unilever, Royal Mail & 50+ colleges. 

    Here are some key notgoingtouni facts for you: 

    • Up to 100,000+ young people visit their site per month.
    • The notgoingtouni book will be published by Pearson summer 2012 and is sponsored by City & Guilds.
    • They have over 6000 opportunities on their website at any given time. Over 60% are apprenticeships.

    So why not visit www.notgoingtouni.co.uk for your next career move.

     

    Training organisations invited to bid for Apprenticeship Application Support Fund

    Training organisations are being invited to bid to run projects around the country designed to increase the quality and success rate of applications for Apprenticeship Vacancies (AV) made by young people between the ages of 16 and 20.

    The Apprenticeship Application Support Fund is being managed by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) on behalf of the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) from whom £450,000 of funding has been made available.

    The project seeks to ensure every young person applying for an apprenticeship, particularly those using the AV system, has the support to present their applications in the best possible light.

    Of most interest will be projects that impact directly on learners and employers utilising the AV system, although the fund managers will also consider projects that incidentally affect wider apprenticeship applications. Projects in priority occupational areas to engage hard to reach and disengaged groups of learners and new employer links will also be of particular interest.

    The lead bidder for any submission must be entered in their own right on the Skills Funding Agency’s Register of Training Organisations as of 3 September, 2012.

    The deadline for receipt of bids is 1 October, 2012. Successful bids will be announced at the end of November 2012.

     

    Labour Market Analyses

    • Unemployment is 2,564,000, down 14,000 from last month’s published figure, and the unemployment rate is 8%, down 0.1 percentage points on last month.
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,593,200, down 5,900 on last month, and the claimant rate is 4.9%, the same as last month.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,437,000, up 24,000 in the quarter, representing 19.7% of the youth population (up 0.4 percentage points in the quarter).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 1,012,000, down 4,000 in the quarter.
    • There are 5.4 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 71% (up 0.2 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.4 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    Apprenticeship Opportunities

    Kirkwood Consulting are working with Dagenham and Barking College to offer a range of apprenticeship opportunities across hospitality, child care, finance, manufacturing, health and social care, engineering and telecommunication. If you live in Romford, Ilford, Barking, Rainham, Dagenham, East London and Essex and are looking for an opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification and a career, then please send your CV with a covering letter to Juliet.lopez@barkingdagenhamcollege.ac.uk

     

    Jobcentre Plus Supporting Jobseekers In Their 60’s

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) this week published their findings from research considering the capability of Jobcentre Plus to support jobseekers in their 60’s.

     The Jobcentre Plus caseload is forecast to age over the next decade due to a combination of demographic change, increases to State Pension Age (SPA), SPA equalisation for men and women, and the gradual withdrawal of Pension Credit eligibility in line with equalisation. For the first time there will be significant numbers of 60+ claimants seeking work.

    DWP’s research reveals that the most significant factors affecting the move back into employment are a lack of modern job search skills, limited IT proficiency and limited experience of searching and applying for jobs online.  Other issues include unrealistic wage expectation, a narrow focus in terms of job search, outdated qualifications and certification and for many, low levels of confidence and a belief that they are being discriminated against because of their age.

     The report concludes that good practice already exist in terms of tackling some of the barriers faced by older jobseekers, but many advisers want access to additional provision that focuses on needs of older people, addressing: perception of and attitudes to work, transferable skills, IT skills and knowledge of modern jobs search, provision delivered in age specific peer group sessions, need to update or gain accreditation for existing skills.

     Jobcentre Plus Advisers felt they would benefit from additional training on the changes being made to SPA, as this would allow them to more confidently engage in discussion about future benefit eligibility for claimants in their 60’s.

     

    £10 million social incubator fund launches

    Start-up social ventures will now be able to access intensive support through the new £10 million Social Incubator Fund, which was launched today by Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd.

    Big Society Capital, which was launched in April 2012, provides significantly improved access to capital for more established social ventures. The Social Incubator Fund will strengthen the growing social investment market by providing start-ups with intensive support to enable them to take advantage of social investment opportunities so they better serve communities and people most in need.

    To help grow the market and support smaller organisations the Government has introduced the Investment Readiness Programme to support social ventures. This programme has two elements:

    • the £10 million Investment and Contract Readiness Fund (managed by The Social Investment Business), which will help more established social ventures access social investment of at least £500,000; and
    • the £10 million Social Incubator Fund (administered over the next three years by Big Fund), which specifically targets social incubators to help them provide investment and support to early stage social ventures.

    The deadline for applications is on 21st September 2012 after which short-listed incubators will be invited to secure match funding. Announcements about successful applicants will be made at end of January 2013.

    Grant-making decisions will be made by an Advisory Board (chaired by the Cabinet Office). The other members of the Advisory Board are Big Lottery Fund, Big Society Capital and The Social Investment Business.

    You can apply to the Fund here.

     

    Latest Labour Market Information

    • Unemployment is 2,584,000, down 30,000 from last month’s published figure, and the unemployment rate is 8.1%, down 1 percentage point on last month.
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,604,200, up 6,100 on last month, and the claimant rate is 4.9%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,488,000, up 76,000 in the quarter, representing 20.4% of the youth population (up 1.1 percentage points in the quarter).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 1,024,000, down 10,000 in the quarter, but up 10,000 on last month’s published figure.
    • There are 5.5 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 70.7% (up 0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.3 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    They graduate full of hope, then reality kicks in

    Who would want to be leaving school or university this summer? When I finished my education five years ago, the default setting among escapees was optimism. 

    Sure, we were sad to wave goodbye to friends, fancy dress festivities and — for some of us, at least — studying, but there was a wider world of work we wanted to be part of. Today, that feeling must have turned into despair.

    According to research released this week, an average of 73 graduates will be chasing every job. But if the situation sounds dire for the highly educated, imagine how those without letters after their names feel as they fire their CVs off into the abyss. More than one in five 16- to 25-year-olds is currently out of work. They aren’t simply suffering alongside everyone else — the young are being hit disproportionately.  

    I’ve spent the past three years wondering what it will take for those in power to tackle the problems facing the under-25s adequately. For instead of helping them, this Government seems intent on kicking them.

    The Education Maintenance Allowance was abolished. Tuition fees have trebled. And if the Tories stay in power, the young can look forward to having their housing benefits scrapped too.

    But nowhere does this attitude manifest itself more obviously than on youth unemployment, where the Government’s £1 billion Youth Contract is nowhere near enough.

    Perhaps the Conservatives have largely given up on the young, deciding that it’s easier to convince the generations above that the fresh-faced are just shirkers, too hopeless to find work or to deserve homes or help. Certainly, the under-25s are easy to ignore — they don’t, after all, vote in the numbers that the elderly do.

    But if there is a political explanation for half-hearted action, there certainly isn’t an economic one. At current levels, youth unemployment is estimated to cost the public purse £4.8 billion this year. And it leaves long-lasting scars too, as the young struggle to catch up when they finally do enter the workforce. According to the ACEVO Commission on Youth Unemployment, that means an estimated £6.3 billion hit each year to the economy in lost output.

     Business has a role to play too. This week, bus operators agreed to give discounted or limited free travel to the UK’s one million NEETs (those not in education, employment or training), reducing one of the greatest hindrances to looking for work. Perhaps we could re-work that line attributed to Margaret Thatcher: “A man who, below the age of 26, finds himself on a free bus is taking a step towards success.” The Government must help prevent his being on a ride to nowhere.

     Written by Rosamund Urwin for the Evening Standard

     

    Latest Labour Market Analysis

    • Unemployment is 2,615,000, down 11,000 from last month’s published figure, and the unemployment rate is 8.2%, the same as last month.
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,599,300, up 8,100, and the claimant rate is 4.9%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,453,000, up 19,000 in the quarter, representing 19.9% of the youth population (up 0.3 percentage points in the quarter).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 1,013,000, down 29,000 in the quarter.
    • There are 5.7 unemployed people per vacancy. Inclusion estimates this figure may slip to 5.6 next month.
    • The employment rate is 70.6% (up 0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.3 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    New Enterprise Allowance unleashes a wave of entrepreneurs

    A tapas restaurant, tattoo parlour, party entertainer and removals company are among 4,560 businesses which have been launched thanks to a Government scheme to help entrepreneurial jobseekers, Employment Minister Chris Grayling has revealed.

    The businesses have started up thanks to the New Enterprise Allowance, which partners jobseekers with a mentor to draw up a business plan then gives them financial support to help them through the early months and the number is growing all the time. Hundreds of new businesses are now starting up every week under the scheme.

    Thousands more would-be entrepreneurs have started working with a mentor on their plans and could be among the next to set up their business.

    Claimants to start trading so far include:

    • Robert Warrior, 45, who set up Finos tapas restaurant in Southport after losing his job managing a group of hotels in 2011. The restaurant employs 22 people.
    • Star Wars fanatic Neil Matthews, 36, who has turned his hobby in to his dream job after a year out of work by setting up a business repairing replica props from movies.
    • Dominic Cox, 40, who is looking to take on his son as an apprentice after setting up a business as an electrician after 18 months out of work.
    • Former Pontins blue coat Matthew Brown, 32, who has returned to his first love and set up his own entertainment business after losing his job in 2011. He has already secured contracts across the West Midlands including for the Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
    • Hayley Thomas, 29, whose play centre, on-site café and pre-school nursery in Haverfordwest employ 17 people. She set them up after losing her job as an NVQ assessor last May.

    Now the Government is considering whether the rules can be changed to give jobseekers access to a mentor after three months on Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), rather than having to wait six months.

    Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

    “I’m delighted that hundreds of businesses are setting up every week thanks to our New Enterprise Allowance. Even in tough economic times there are opportunities out there and we’re ready to back those who have an idea that can work and the can-do attitude to make it a success.

    “With 4,560 businesses up and running we’re already helping to unleash a new wave of entrepreneurs. I want to make the support available sooner so we can help even more people realise their dreams and become their own boss. Now we’ll look at how we can make this happen.”

    Other businesses set up so far include mobile app development, beauty therapy, dog grooming, cake making, gardening, architecture and physiotherapy.

    Currently claimants have to be on JSA for six months before getting help to develop their business plan. When they have produced a viable plan they can access an allowance of £65-a-week for another six months and have access to a loan of up to £1,000 to help with start-up costs.

    The Government is now exploring whether to offer claimants given access to mentor support after three months on JSA.

    Robert Warrior, who set up Finos Tapas restaurant in Southport thanks to NEA, said: “My mentor was invaluable, he was always offering me great ideas and advice, and the financial assistance was obviously very helpful in setting up the restaurants.

    “I’m also pleased that I’ve been able to create so many jobs as a result of opening Finos, I plan to offer further opportunities via work experience and apprenticeships.”

     

    Labour Market Live

    • Unemployment is 2,625,000, down 25,000 from last month’s published figure, and the unemployment rate is 8.2%, down 0.1 percentage points on last month.
    • The number of claimant unemployed is 1,590,300, down 13,700, and the claimant rate is 4.9%.
    • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,419,000, down 25,000 in the quarter, representing 19.5% of the youth population (down 0.3 percentage points in the quarter).
    • Youth unemployment (including students) is 1,021,000, down 17,000 in the quarter.
    • There are 5.7 unemployed people per vacancy.
    • The employment rate is 70.4% (up 0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.2 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

     

    Life as an unemployed graduate

    For the university graduate, the light at the end of the tunnel is dim. Stepping into a career straight after graduation seems like a modern day fairytale.

    As a postgraduate with an impressive academic career, I am mentally exhausted from a fruitless eight month long job search.

    Like many other young people, I am caught in a paradox: too many qualifications and not enough experience.

    Politicians tell us that there are jobs out there. They suggest that graduates aren’t trying hard enough to secure work.

    However, there are now 1.2 million unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK, according to the Office of National Statistics.

    Surely the massive rise in youth unemployment can be attributed to the fact there are too many graduates and not enough jobs.

    I am trying as hard as I possibly can to find work but have not yet had success.

    These days, graduates need an exhaustive list of accomplishments to get anywhere at all.

    A demanding three-year degree is no longer enough to satisfy potential employers.

    Graduates must also have a plethora of extra-curricular achievements, relevant work experience, a menial part-time job and volunteer work under their belts before they are considered job-worthy.

    I have an impressive academic career that I worked tirelessly for until I was 22 years old: I graduated with a Masters degree from a well-respected University in 2011.

    I thought going the extra mile would make me stand out in a sea of other floundering graduates.

    I also have significant work experience and a strong 2.1 Bachelor of Arts with Honours to grab the attention of employers.

    As I walked to my local Jobcentre late last summer after graduation, I was hopeful that I would soon find work.

    Then I noticed conkers falling off the trees.

    Then I had to trudge through the snow to my fortnightly appointment.

    Now the first buds of spring are a stark reminder that I have nearly gone full-circle.

    I’ve applied for hundreds upon hundreds of jobs. Many don’t even reply. I worry that my education is worthless and my time studying has been for nothing.

    I’ve been invited to a handful of interviews but they all say the same thing. I am too inexperienced.

    I feel so angry. How much unpaid work experience do I have to do before someone will give me chance? How am I supposed to support myself whilst working for nothing?

    My parents, school and the media convinced me that a good education was my passport to a better future. A degree was supposed to be my ticket out of the deprived area I grew up in.

    During my A Levels, I worked in a fast food restaurant. I got home from school and went straight to my evening shift. I got home at eleven o clock at night, smelling like fried chicken. Then I did my homework.

    I couldn’t get a job in a fast food restaurant now. Not because I don’t want to but because they don’t want me!

    I have applied for low-skilled jobs but I am over qualified. They see my Masters degree and run a mile.

    Currently, I am looking to secure a paid internship that will provide me with experience and not exploit me in the process.

    Thanks to new government legislation, I know I could have up to 50 years of employment ahead of me.

    The sense of failure is crushing but I know my luck has to change at some point; it is just a question of when.

     

     

    News Just In

    Lone parents on Income Support whose child is aged five or over are being informed by letter from 23 March that, starting from May 2012; if they are able to work they will need to move from Income Support to Jobseeker’s Allowance, where they will receive extra help to return to the workplace. Currently this change takes place when a lone parent’s child is aged seven.

    There are 1.8m children living in households where no one works and around 600,000 lone parents relying on Income Support. A child of an out-of-work lone parent is almost three times more likely to be in poverty than those where the lone parent works part-time.

    Steve Webb, Minister for Pensions, announced details of two changes that will be introduced to the Crisis Loan scheme from 9 April 2012. These changes are part of a programme of work before elements of Crisis Loans are transferred to local welfare provision, and delivered by local authorities, from April 2013.

    From 9 April 2012, these changes are being made:

    • Maximum Crisis Loan awards in relation to living expenses will be reduced from 60% to 30% of benefit allowance rate for all non-householders. Householders and people without accommodation will continue to receive maximum awards based upon 60% of their benefit personal allowance rate.
    • Crisis Loans will be given to alleviate hardship because Child Tax Credits have been awarded but have not yet been paid so will be treated as alignment payments. These awards will be exempt from the cap that restricts Crisis Loan living expense awards to three months in a 12 month rolling period. 

    Analysis of latest figures from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) indicates that:

    • The number of Housing Benefit claimants reached a new high of 4.95 million in December 2011
    • In-work households accounted for almost all (93 per cent) of the increase in the number of claimants during 2010 and 2011
    • In December 2011 almost one in four households who rented their accommodation and were in employment received Housing Benefit

    The growing number of in-work Housing Benefit claimants will have a considerable impact on government policy. In 2011 the number of additional in-work claimants is likely to have increased overall Housing Benefit expenditure by £490 million.

    New statistics published today show an increase in the number of people starting an apprenticeship. Provisional data shows that in the first half of the 2011/12 academic year (August 2011 to January 2012) 256,500 people started an apprenticeship, including 79,100 young people (aged under 19), 77,100 19-24 year olds and 100,300 adults aged 25 or over. 

    Official new figures reveal more than half of Britain’s young, black men are unemployed — the worst-hit group and double the number four years ago. The Runnymede Trust’s 2009 bulletin, Race and the Repercussions of Recession, stated that “the onset of the current crash hit black and ethnic minorities harder than the national average worker”. This report predicted that unemployment would rise among black and ethnic minorities during the recession, especially for “those whose employers decide not to favour them because in hard times they might be tempted to look after their own”.

    Almost 150 new judges are being paid more than £400 a day to rule on cases brought by people who dispute the assessment that they are fit to carry out some work, denying them sickness benefits.

    The cost of the judges’ salaries has already risen by more than £15m in the past two years and is said to rise still further next year when disabled people’s benefits are overhauled, while a backlog of cases has already built up.

    Top 10 youth employment black spots, February 2012

    Local authority

    Region                

    Claimants       

    Rate   

    Blaenau Gwent

    Wales

    1,270

    19.3

    Hartlepool

    North East

    1,440

    17.3

    Merthyr Tydfil

    Wales

    865

    16.8

    Sandwell

    West Midlands

    4,505             

    16.6

    Redcar andCleveland    

    North East          

    1,995

    16.5

    Wolverhampton

    West Midlands

    3,760

    15.7

    South Tyneside

    North East

    2,290

    15.4

    Caerphilly

    Wales

    2,335

    15.3

    Walsall

    West Midlands

    3,515

    15.2

    North Ayrshire

    Scotland

    1,750

    14.8

    The Federation and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust have been working with housing associations in former mining communities across the North and Midlands to offer apprenticeship posts for a minimum of one year. The placements start next month, and are set to offer apprenticeship posts for nearly 50 young people.

    The First Minister today announced that the Scottish Government has successfully delivered its commitment to support 25,000 new apprenticeship starts in 2011/12. This is a record number of new Modern Apprenticeships starts in a single year and confirms delivery of the first year of the commitment to provide 25,000 apprenticeship opportunities in each year of the current Parliament.

    Tougher standards introduced by Skills Minister to drive up quality

    Apprenticeships will last for a minimum of 12 months guaranteeing improvements in training and workplace learning, Skills Minister John Hayes announced today.

    The new standards will come into force for all age groups from August 2012, subject to consultation with providers and employers, as a further measure to drive up quality.

    For those aged 19 and over apprenticeships will last between one to four years unless prior learning or attainment has been recorded. Apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds will last a minimum of 12 months without exception.

     

    Highest Figures of Unemployment in a decade

    Unemployment has reached its highest figure in seventeen years, taking the total number of unemployed people to 2.62 million.

    The reason for the increase is a combination of people coming out of economic inactivity, students claiming benefits for the first time, an increase in the number of people going into self-employment coupled with the highest number of women claiming benefits since 1987.

    Unemployment has reached 2.62 million, the highest figure for seventeen years

     

     

    Young people not getting the grades to get them a job

    As youth unemployment reaches a record high, Centre for Cities has today published research showing many young people are leaving school without the basic literacy and numeracy qualifications that employers require.

    Read article >

     

    Young jobseekers told to work without pay

    Britain’s jobless young people are being sent to work for supermarkets and budget stores for up to two months for no pay and no guarantee of a job, reports Shiv Malik in the Guardian this week.

    read article >

     

    The Work Programme

    A million young people are jobless, but the government’s Big Society flagship employment scheme appears to be ignoring both them and the youth charities that help them find work, says Patrick Butler in the Guardian this week.

    read article >

     

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