Monday, March 07, 2016

Young People are still facing difficulties when looking to find work. RESEARCH

Written by Denise Hatton, Chief Executive, YMCA England.
With less than two weeks to go to the Budget and the Chancellor already telling us to get ready for further austerity, YMCA is keen to make sure that the voices and needs of young people are not forgotten.
However, there are many reasons to believe that young people don’t care about the big political and policy issues currently facing the country and that this Budget doesn’t really matter to them.
Statistics show us that young people are now less likely to be members of a political party or union than at any point in the recent past and that they are also less likely to register and less likely to vote.
Indeed, despite all the best efforts to get young people to vote – including from organisations like ourselves – turnout among young people at the General Election last year was just 44%.
For these reasons, the issues that matter most to young people too often get ignored. But in a Budget where George Osbourne has already admitted that more difficult spending decisions are going to be made, YMCA wants to challenge this status quo.
To help us to do this and to understand what matters most to this generation of young people, YMCA recently surveyed more than 2,000 16 to 24-year-olds across England and Wales about what they think are the most important issues that need to be tackled.
The areas we found topping young people’s concerns are access to jobs and the cost and quality of education.
For those leaving education to start their careers, the findings from the research show this generation of young people are still facing difficulties when looking to find work.
Four in 10 of the young people questioned raised the availability of jobs as being the most important issue that need to be tackled.
Demonstrating that even with the recent falls in youth unemployment, the struggles they face finding work is leaving this generation with very real fears about being cut adrift from society.
It is those aged 22 to 24-years old for whom this issue is most acute, alluding towards the challenge this age group now face starting off their carers after having completed their studies.
With a quarter of the young people we spoke to also raising the cost of education as an issue that needs tackling, the research indicates that the problems finding work is proving even more difficult to stomach in light of the ever increasing debts young people are now accruing.
Further to this, the research highlights the growing concerns this generation have that the education they are receiving simply isn’t equipping them will the skills they really need when transitioning into the world of work.
Again nearly a quarter of the more than 2,000 young people we interviewed raised this as an issue preventing them getting off to the right start in life.
It is too easy for decision makers to dismiss young people’s lack of recent engagement as a sign that they don’t care.
But by publishing the findings from this research today, YMCA is calling on politicians from across all parties to ensure that what matters most to young people is at the centre of this month’s Budget to give them the start in life that they need to belong, contribute and thrive.
Read more about What Matters Most to young people at