Give our young people a chance!
by Jane Gregory - Head of Client Services on 27 March 2012
With so may hints as to what was going to be in this year’s Budget, I think everyone in the land was depressed at the thought of it before the Chancellor had even stood up. But, I cannot hide my disappointment that so little continues to be done to tackle what is becoming the prime social problem of our age, namely the unemployment of our young people.
The number of young unemployed continues to rise – almost one in five youngsters aged between 16 and 24 are classified as NEET (not in education, employment or training). Most appear to have been effectively “written off” before they have even started because of the following label “no qualifications: no work experience”.
The only reference Mr Osborne made in his Budget speech was an all too brief mention of a new enterprise loan pilot scheme, which will work in a similar way to the student loans system. Aimed at the under 25s, they will need a viable business plan to be able to borrow between £5,000 and £10,000 to help start their own business. A tall order many might think, but you would be surprised at just how determined and hardworking many young people are and this might be just the break they are looking for.
We are in the third year of running our own Thames Valley Young Entrepreneur Award following a national survey Haines Watts carried out back in 2009, which highlighted that the average business owner in the UK is in his 50s. So, we already had a problem with not enough young blood coming through “the system” and that was before the recession.
What more can we do? The demise of the Future Jobs Fund was a blow for many. So, I wonder … yes, there is a difference in the amount of the state pension and job seekers allowance, but instead of raising the age of retirement, should we keep it as it currently is so that older employees may retire paving the way for the UK’s young people who, as our future, need to be given more of a chance?
Controversial, but what do you think?
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