Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/594/8162
Youth unemployment hits record level
THE ANNOUNCEMENT by the government on Wednesday 16 September of 2.5 million unemployed was met by public protests organised by Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ).
Officially UK unemployment is 7.9% of the total workforce, up from 5.6% only one year ago. Of the total unemployed nearly one million are young people aged between 16 and 24 years - a 14 year high. This means that one in five young people cannot find work and the situation is likely to get worse with only one quarter of employers planning to hire workers aged between 16 and 18 years.
Despite finding hundreds of billions of pounds to rescue failed banks, the government's response to solving youth unemployment has been totally inadequate. Chancellor Alistair Darling has trumpeted the government's one billion pound Future Jobs Fund (FJF), available to private and public employers.
However, FJF lasts for only six months and doesn't apply to 16 and 17 year olds. It only applies to the long-term unemployed, fuelling the suspicion that FJF is all about massaging the unemployment figures rather than providing real jobs.
Another fear is that FJF placements will simply occupy positions which otherwise would have to be filled by workers on better wages and conditions.
Youth Fight for Jobs is campaigning for permanent jobs at decent rates of pay and working conditions. The jobs crisis is a product of the general crisis within capitalism, so only socialist policies can provide a lasting solution. YFJ has called a national demonstration on 28 November for real jobs, for free education.
In The Socialist 22 September 2009:
War and occupation
Postal workers strike
Youth fight for jobs
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reviews