Cameron needs to start backing our young people and universities

The number of jobless 16 to 24-year-olds has risen by 52,000, to 1.04 million, which is the highest number since records began in 1992, writes UCU’s Sally Hunt.

Graph 1: The Tories’ shocking record on youth unemployment; click to enlarge

 

Sally Hunt is the general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU)

The unemployment figures (pdf) make for grim reading yet again this month. The unemployment rate has not been higher since 1995 and the number of unemployed people has not been higher since 1994.

And, as Graph 1 shows, the number of jobless 16 to 24-year-olds has risen by 52,000, to 1.04 million, which is the highest number since records began in 1992.


We have to address the problem of an entire generation being consigned to economic inactivity. Hundreds of thousands of the young people on that dole queue are hard-working students who were encouraged throughout their time at school to ‘aim higher’ and aspire to university.

They did that but now they find the door being slammed in their face through a combination of places being axed, fees rocketing and financial support being cut. These young people do not deserve to become simply another statistic in the record unemployment figures. They need to be given the chance to fulfil their potential, whether that’s at college, university or in the workplace.

A positive first step must be to improve access to education, and the imminent university grant letter from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which details how much funding will be available for university teaching budgets, needs to provide an urgent boost to our beleaguered higher education sector. In reality this means the government rowing back on plans to slash state funding for universities.

Ministers need to recognise that higher education is a public good that generates billions for our economy and that investing in it will benefit all of society and potentially prevent hundreds of thousands of young people from a lifetime of signing on. The government needs to make a clear statement that it backs our universities and young people and the best place to the start is with HEFCE’s grant letter when it is finally delivered in the next few days.

See also:

How well does Boris do on apprenticeships?Darren Johnson AM, January 9th 2012

2012: The year ahead for young peopleAlex Hern, January 7th 2012

Unemployment: How Cameron and Clegg are letting the next generation downRachel Reeves MP and Stephen Timms MP, December 14th 2011

Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole queueSally Hunt, December 14th 2011

Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting our youthRory Weal, November 16th 2011

22 Responses to “Cameron needs to start backing our young people and universities”

  1. Anonymous

    They did that but now they find the door being slammed in their face through a combination of places being axed, fees rocketing and financial support being cut. These young people do not deserve to become simply another statistic in the record unemployment figures. They need to be given the chance to fulfil their potential, whether that’s at college, university or in the workplace.

    ============

    Look at the system you set up.

    1. Students have to take out loans. In other words, they have to take the risk and invest in their education. No problem there, after all why should a plumber pay to take the risk for someone else.

    2. When that student succeeds, you are going to penally tax them on the proceeds.

    In other words, heads the government wins, tails the student loses.

    Next the question that isn’t asked. Why is the cost of a student education so much?

    9,000 a year versus? Well lets look at the Open University. 1,400 a year for a degree.

    Where’s the other 7,600 going? Both provide tutorials. Both provide course work. Ah yes,could be pastoral care. 7,600 from lots of students to provide pastoral care for little Johny who is so pissed he is threatening to jump out of a window? Nah, its not that much.

    So what’s going on.

    It’s cross subsidy. Students are being forced into debt to pay for things other than their education.

    In other words, yet another example of crony statism. Get the state to shaft people for your own little interests.

  2. George Foxley

    #UK : Cameron needs to start backing our young people and universities http://t.co/cVzK2xBL

  3. Public University

    UCU comment on unemployment figures here http://t.co/zRQ1exBL and on @leftfootfwd here http://t.co/O8PUw5Ch

  4. Jonathan Davies

    Cameron needs to start backing our young people and universities: http://t.co/Rpkxk3zX writes @UCU’s Sally Hunt

  5. Murray Rothbard

    Here @leftfootfwd show how youth unemployment has increased since the introduction of the minimum wage in 1999! http://t.co/MB9HquDF

  6. Bradford College UCU

    UCU comment on unemployment figures here http://t.co/zRQ1exBL and on @leftfootfwd here http://t.co/O8PUw5Ch

  7. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron needs to start backing our young people and universities http://t.co/JERhqoUv

  8. Froth Ing

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron needs to start backing our young people and universities http://t.co/Yp1ZyXAY No doubt about that #frothers

  9. ann driver

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron needs to start backing our young people and universities http://t.co/Yp1ZyXAY No doubt about that #frothers

  10. Mr. Sensible

    I wouldn’t be so dismissive of student support.

  11. Unison Sefton FE

    UCU comment on unemployment figures here http://t.co/zRQ1exBL and on @leftfootfwd here http://t.co/O8PUw5Ch

  12. Unison Sefton FE

    Cameron needs to start backing our young people and universities: http://t.co/Rpkxk3zX writes @UCU’s Sally Hunt

  13. Where next for apprenticeships after the heads of the schemes resign? | Left Foot Forward

    […] apprenticeships are one of the few solutions proposed by the government to the rocketing youth unemployment, if an increasing proportion of them aren’t going to under 25s at all, the situation for […]

  14. Newsbot9

    “Well lets look at the Open University”

    Yes, let’s quote pre-fee hike prices, if you’re a dishonest SOB called LordMoron. The correct fees are £5000.00 per year, for English students.

    http://www8.open.ac.uk/study/explained/fees-2012/fees-and-funding-england

    Moreover, it DOES in fact cost close to £7,000.00 to provide even the more basic degrees at Brick and Mortar universities. When you add in the overheads from the degrees which are more and the requirement to spend money on “widening participation”, things rapidly head for the maximum to break even!

  15. Nick Leaton

    Current fees for me, 700 for a 60 point (1/2 year) course at level 2. Multiply by 2 and you get 1400 for a years tuition. Compared to the huge fees charged elsewhere.

    M208 if you want to check.

  16. Chandler Western

    Cameron needs to start backing our young people and universities – Left Foot Forward http://t.co/rmZMcJZO

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  18. Herbert Pimlott

    #Youth #unemployment highest since 92 RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron needs to start backing our young people and universities http://t.co/Oqu1dMYQ

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