by Samantha Ritchie (misssam89) Across Europe youth unemployment has increased from this time last year. In Greece, a year ago, the rate of youth unemployment was 56.3%. In May 2013, it was 62.9%. In Spain, a year ago, the rate of youth unemployment wa …

Samantha Ritchie

by Samantha Ritchie (misssam89)


Across Europe youth unemployment has increased from this time last year. In Greece, a year ago, the rate of youth unemployment was 56.3%. In May 2013, it was 62.9%. In Spain, a year ago, the rate of youth unemployment was 53.9%. In July 2013, it was 56.1%. 

Youth unemployment doesn’t just effect young people now but it has a knock on effect for years to come on generations.

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Throughout the summer of 2013 there are over 26 million young people looking for work in Europe. And, that doesn’t even include students or school leavers who will be coming out of education for summer jobs.

In Europe, the amount of young people leaving is also increasing. In 1989, when the walls came down between east and west Germany the amount of 20 – 24 years olds in Europe was at 56 million. Today, there eight million less. By 2020, the UN estimates that the numbers of young people in their early twenties will decrease to 39 million.

In the UK in 2011, there were 2,400 financiers who received a wage over £1 million. If the banks decided to reduce all their wages and keep them at £1 million rate for a few years then there would be a fairer distribution of wealth and more jobs could be created for young people at the bottom.

Instead, pay inequality is getting worse and many families are stretched so much that they are turning to food banks to feed their children. 

In the UK, youth unemployment has fallen by 1,000 since last year – which is pretty terrible seeing as they’ve injected so money into schemes to try get young people back into work.

Matthew Hancock MP, said that “we’re heading in the right direction” and was “heartened to see the fall.” Mr Hancock used to work for the Bank of England and is a conservative MP.

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Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, stated that the figures show the ‘slow rate of progress and shames the government.’

 Our young people are being let down down by government cuts to careers services, high youth unemployment and rocketing cost of continuing education.” 

Unite leader Len McCluskey has also came out against these figures. “All of the government is prepared to offer our young people in an insecure future of low paid employment, creating a lost generation.”

Mr McCluskey also said that “our young people are not a pool of cheap labour – they are meant to be our citizens of tomorrow. They need to be offered more than despair, they need a stake in our society, which comes by investing in them through apprenticeships, education, vocational training and decent jobs.”

I’m a young person myself and after leaving University I was unemployed. It is soul destroying, frustrating and overall, it knocks your confidence. Some of my friends remain on zero hours contracts whereby employers take advantage of them because they’re young and do not have any other job or education so they can drop and pick them when they want to – giving them full flexibility. But, there are others I know who still remain unemployed and struggling to find work who have very little help from the government and feel they have been left behind.

The unfair distribution of wealth is staggering. Young people should not be left on the scrap heap when bankers are receiving bonuses and huge wages. But, this is what happens when you elect a Tory government in times of austerity – the rich get richer and the poorer get poorer. I can only hope things start to change soon or we will be in real trouble. 


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Samantha Ritchie