Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/659/11248
Youth unemployment: No return to the 1930s!
THE LATEST figures show youth unemployment rose by 66,000 in the three months to last December. This means that more than 20% of 16-24 year olds are currently unemployed, a new record. As more central and local government spending cuts begin to bite then unemployment will continue to grow, especially for young people.
Matt Whale, Youth Fight for Jobs, unemployed organiser
The Con-Dem government claims that the private sector will pick up the slack for the cuts in jobs in the public sector. Statistics show that graduate level and better paid jobs are hard to find. And with less money in circulation as people tighten their belts, unskilled work in privately owned retail, leisure and catering companies is being slashed as firms either go bust or cut back massively to maintain profits.
This means that a lot of young people are being denied work, as they don't have the necessary experience to get any other type of job.
The government's answer to a lack of experience is, after six months of unemployment, to send young people on 'Mickey Mouse' training schemes where you gain no skills at all.
This government has not provided any measures to deal with long-term youth unemployment. It still relies on the previous Labour government's Young Person's Guarantee for 18-24 year olds who have been unemployed for more than six months.
As of December 2010 there were 428,000 in this position. The latest government reports show that there were only 128,000 'starters' for their programmes, which include forcing young people to work for free while employers receive £1,000 for this 'inconvenience'!
The main component of the Young Person's Guarantee, making up 75,310 of the placements, is the Future Jobs Fund. However this was one of the first schemes to be axed by Osborne.
Instead of schemes that offer no qualifications and nothing jobs we need to be investing in jobs for the future. A massive social housing building programme would help the housing problem while also offering employment to thousands. Proper investment in green energy would help to solve both the energy and unemployment crises.
We've seen, however, that the Con-Dems are more interested in helping their friends in the banks such as Barclays, which avoids paying tax, than ensuring working class people have a future.
Despite the Con-Dems' intentions to return society to the 1930s there is no doubt they are weak. There are splits forming between the Tories and the Liberals. Their back-tracking over the proposed 10% cut in housing benefit for all those on the dole alongside their retreat regarding the forest sell-off and other things, shows that cuts can be stopped.
A mass movement of workers, students and the unemployed, united around a socialist programme, can kick the weak Con-Dems out of government and replace them with a government based upon socialist policies.
In The Socialist 23 February 2011:
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news