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We must not create a lost generation
After the Olympic feelgood factor of the last couple of weeks, we are brought down with a bump as the latest unemployment figures are released – and they do not make for pleasant reading.
Most worrying is the huge increase in long-term joblessness among the 18-24 age group. Of course, unemployment is a blight on anyone, no matter what their age. Those with families and mortgages are badly hit and those made jobless towards the end of their working life might find they struggle to get new jobs while still needing money to live on.
But the main issue with this particular group of people is that continued unemployment is in danger of creating a “lost generation” who have never had the opportunity to work, and therefore risk falling into a black hole where they are bereft of drive, ambition and prospects, and become utterly reliant on benefits because they have known no other way of living.
The problem is only going to be exacerbated this very week as the A-level results come in today. It is to be hoped that Bradford’s students have done well and achieved what they need to go on to further and higher education.
But for those who have not done as expected or hoped, they will now be looking at what options there are available for them in the job market. And with the depressing picture of mounting youth unemployment, their prospects might not be very rosy.
It is difficult to know where the jobs that are so sorely needed will come from in the current climate, but something must be done – and quickly – to stop this current generation falling by the wayside.