The amount of young people not in education, employment or in training (neet) has reached a record high, according to new government figures.
Statistics released by the department for children, school and families show that the proportion of neet 16- to 24-year-olds in England rose from 13.6 per cent to 15.6 per cent over the first three months of 2009.
There are now 935,000 16- to 24-year-old neets in England, up from 810,000 at the end of last year, and the proportion of 18-24-year-old neets is 17.6 per cent , and the figure is likely to have got worse since the recession.
David Willetts, the shadow universities secretary, said: "Nearly 1 million young people are not in education, employment or training.
"This is shocking evidence that young people are indeed the victims of Labour's recession."
Going further, a spokesperson for ClickAJob called the figures a serious indictment of Labour’s ‘Education, Education, Education’ policy.
“Most companies need replacement staff even in a recession,” he pointed out. “And their basic need is for youngsters to be literate, numerate and trainable.”
“Despite lowering pass marks to boost exam results, Labour can’t even get that right – with the result that companies are hiring more experienced staff whose skills are real instead of make-believe.”
“To compensate, young people seriously wanting a job need additional qualities they can point to that make them stand out,” he continued.
“In the real world, initiative and self-discipline gained on the sports field, or a social networking flair for handling people, is a far better advantage for clinching a job than fairy-tale GCSEs.”
A spokeswoman for the department for business, innovation and skills defended the rise by saying that there are more 18-24-year-olds working or in full time education that when Labour came to power in 1997.
The news comes as a new report from the Centre for Cities founds that long-term youth unemployment will almost treble, between now and the end of 2011.
News by Adfero