Third of young unemployed fears lifetime on dole

A new report has said that one in three young unemployed people fear they will never find a job. Picture: PA
A new report has said that one in three young unemployed people fear they will never find a job. Picture: PA
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A THIRD of young people not in work, education or training fear they will never get a job, according to a new report.

A poll of 1,000 16- to 24-year-olds carried out for the University and College Union (UCU) found growing despondency about the job market.

While 90 per cent of “NEETs” – young people not in education, employment or training – aspire to work or study, one in three feel they have “no chance” of ever getting a job.

According to the UCU’s poll, carried out by ComRes, 37 per cent of those surveyed rarely leave the house, while 40 per cent feel they are “not part of society”.

The union’s research follows publication of a report in 2011 which found huge disparities in the number of NEETs in different parts of Scotland.

While Edinburgh has a “low” number of those not in employment, education or training, and Aberdeen a “very low” number, the figure for Glasgow is “high”, with more than 18 per cent of young people in that category.

The UCU’s report, published today, said a third of NEETs aged 16-24 have suffered depression, while 15 per cent have a mental health condition.

UCU president Simon Renton said: “This report lays bare the deep personal impact that sustained unemployment has on young people. It is truly heartbreaking to see so many people who want to contribute more to society but are left feeling their outlook is hopeless.

“The individual human tragedy is only part of the story, as young people outside education or work cost the country millions of pounds every year. We need to give our young people a commitment of proper guidance and stable, properly rewarded jobs, or educational opportunities.

“This will mean government, employers, schools, colleges and universities working together. It will cost money, but the alternative is to consign hundreds of thousands of young people to the scrapheap and leave society to pick up the both the social and economic bills caused by their inactivity.”

The UCU said recent studies showed each NEET cost the public finances £56,000 over their lifetime.

According to UCU study, 47 per cent cite lack of experience as holding them back, while 25 per cent said they lacked confidence. More than one in four (28 per cent) said there was a lack of suitable vacancies.

Professor Robin Simmons of the University of Huddersfield, an expert in the NEET phenomenon, said: “This report’s findings are both disturbing and sobering, and clearly illustrate the negative consequences for the individual and society of being outside education and employment.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Real progress has been made with our youth unemployment rate now lower than the rest of the UK and amongst the lowest in Europe.”