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Labour Market Realities: Barriers Facing Young People

The latest labour market figures, released today, shows unemployment falling but the reality is different for both workers and jobseekers. Young people continue to face huge barriers finding work and are too often exploited in work.

We spoke to one young graduate, Ella Gannon, who felt compelled to leave Britain in search of opportunities in mainland Europe because there were so few decent jobs in Britain. Check out her video (above), and read her blog describing a “culture of exploitation” facing young people today.

Also today, CLASS research officer Liam Kennedy writes about the lack of good options available for young people today in the labour market. Read his blog here.

Despite Government promises about boosting apprenticeships,  research from Unite has shown an increasing numbers of young people are forced to take dead-end ‘construction courses’ with no NVQ and no job.

Only 10% of such courses are ‘real’ in terms of being attached to work, with most of the rest being  classroom-only courses offering no recognised qualification, with no employer willing to take them on.

Despite the rhetoric of ministers about an economic recovery, the new ‘Brexit Generation’ of young people is hit hard by lack of reality of lack of job opportunities, and disproportionately work in the gig economy with low pay and lack of rights.

At the same time they are burdened with student debt and an impossible challenge to get on the housing ladder, and one fifth of graduates are underemployed in low or medium skilled work, trapping many in poverty.

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