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UK worst in G8 for youth unemployment, study says

Youth unemployment has increased in the UK at a faster rate than any country in the G8 since the start of the recession and cannot be blamed solely on the economic downturn, according to a new report.

A Work Foundation study found the UK was now behind only Spain and Greece for youth joblessness in OECD countries.

The problem cannot be attributed simply to the recession, because other countries have fared better, said the group. The government was urged to follow the lead of countries like Germany and Denmark, by taking measures such as more apprenticeships and increased training.

Lizzie Crowley, the report’s author, said: “In many other developed nations, youth unemployment has remained low despite the downturn. However, in the UK, youth unemployment as a proportion of 15- to 24-year-olds has increased at a faster rate over the course of the recession than both the European and OECD averages.

“While the reasons for this are complex, it’s clear the UK can learn from the experiences of those countries that have fared much better.

“The government should focus on policies that have been shown to work, cherry-picking the best responses and adapting them to the needs of the UK labour market.”

Youth unemployment had increased in the UK by 35 per cent to 916,000 between 2008 and 2011, compared with an average of 15 per cent in G8 countries (the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States). Germany, Russia and Japan had seen a reduction.

 

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