Yorkshire & Humber are blackspots for youth employment

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A report this week reveals that Bradford, Barnsley, Grimsby, Hull and Doncaster are amongst the ten cities with the worst national figures for youth employment in Britain.

Bradford’s 25 per cent unemployment figure for 16-24 year-old puts it as sixth in the country’s top ten cities facing the highest UK youth unemployment crisis.

The data processed by The Work Foundation ranks, and maps youth unemployment rates for 16-24 year olds across the UK’s largest towns and cities shows that even in the recovery, almost one in five young people looking for work are unable to find a job.

Cities with high youth unemployment rates (excluding full time students), 2012-13

Cities with high youth unemployment rates (excluding full time students), 2012-13

It goes onto reveal that those who leave school with only GCSE level qualifications (or less) are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as those with better qualifications.

The youth unemployment problem is so endemic in the UK that even those cities with the lowest rates (around 13%) are still a third higher than the German national average (8.6%) and double that of Germany’s best performing cities (e.g. Hamburg at 5%).

Now authorities are being told that these figures can improve if local services were to work together more effectively.

The paper argues that without effective, targeted action from national and local government, businesses, and educators, a generation of young people in these cities will face a bleak future in the labour market.

Commenting on the paper, Lizzie Crowley, head of youth unemployment programmes at The Work Foundation, said: “The UK’s youth unemployment crisis continues to affect almost a million young people – even in the recovery.

“It is shocking that in some cities almost a third of young people are looking for work but are unable to find it.

“Urgent action is needed to ensure young people get the right support to either continue in school, further training or with getting a job.

“Central Government’s top-down attempts to tackle the crisis have failed. Local government must now be tasked with setting up Youth Transition Partnerships to bring together schools, colleges, third sector organisations, and local businesses to develop tailored policy responses suitable for each city. National government must also back these partnerships by providing dedicated funding to ensure they can fulfil this duty effectively.”