Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole queue

Today’s unemployment figures make for depressing reading, especially for young people, writes Sally Hunt.

 

Today’s unemployment figures (pdf) make for depressing reading, especially for young people, writes Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU)

As Graph 1 shows, youth unemployment has risen for the ninth successive month to 1.027 million, the highest since records began in 1992, beating the previous record set only last month.

Graph 1:


With the job market getting tougher by the day for young people, access to education and careers advice has never been more important. However, since coming to power the government has trebled the price of going to university, axed vital financial support (such as the education maintenance allowance – EMA) and got rid of the future jobs fund.

The logic behind these decisions is spurious at best, especially when you consider that hiking of the price of fees to £9,000 will force the treasury in the short-term to fund the cost of increased student loans. Similarly, where is the sense in getting rid of the EMA when it paid for itself and ensured thousands of poorer students were able to go to college instead of claiming benefits?

As well being a huge waste of talent the long-term implications of having one million young people out of work and study could be devastating for our economy. The cost of 16-18 year-olds not in education, employment or training runs in to billions every year.

Today’s figures are a worrying reminder we need to do more to help young people get on – not price them out of education and consign them to the dole queue.

Public spending on education in the UK is falling at the fastest rate since the 1950s and the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned (pdf) that the government’s austerity programme will cut the living standards of Britain’s families by more than 10% over the next three years. Most worryingly, it concluded that it will be those on the lowest incomes who will suffer the most.

As long as the government continues to erect punitive financial barriers the problem of youth unemployment will only get worse.

The alternative to improving access to education and a good career is a generation with few prospects and little chance to alter their situation.

See also:

Record NEET figures the result of Osborne’s ignorant, short-sighted ideologySally Hunt, November 24th 2011

Stories from the economy, or: The prospects for young people, and other grim talesRichard Exell, November 17th 2011

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

Clegg under fire over voter registration, party funding and youth unemploymentShamik Das, November 15th 2011

Osborne’s refusal to increase demand leaves young unemployed without hopeTony Dolphin, November 14th 2011

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21 Responses to “Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole queue”

  1. Political Planet

    Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole queue: Today’s unemployment figure… http://t.co/8rmQW2Ew

  2. Trakgalvis

    Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole queue | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/527sDu8R

  3. KAAL Group

    Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole queue | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/527sDu8R

  4. Look at the graph.

    Seems to me like a lot of the rise happened before 2010. Hmm…

  5. Susan Frances Orton

    Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole queue: http://t.co/Hkng9bj5 writes @UCU's Sally Hunt

  6. Sarah Webster

    Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole queue: http://t.co/Hkng9bj5 writes @UCU's Sally Hunt

  7. Anonymous

    The big problem is this. There isn’t an issue with students funding their education at university. There is no reason why a plumber should fund it for them.

    However it relates to the reward side. You want to penally tax them if that education pays off.

    So we have another example of heads the government wins, tails the student loses.

    Drop taxes for graduates, and then it becomes more economical for many of them to take the risk.

    However, you can’t, because the government is desperate for cash because of all its debts.

    Yet another example of how it takes a government to really mess things up.

    The next thing to look at it why the education costs so much. What’s the comparison?

    27 grand in debt for a student for fees.

    400 * 12 = 4,800 pounds if you go the Open University route and earn at the same time.

    So what do you get for the 22K that is the difference?

    1. I suspect you’re funding research departments.
    2. You’re paying for universities debts.
    3. It’s an awful lot of pastoral care to stop Little Johny harming himself whilst pissed.

    Government needs to stop trying to have all the bites at the cherry and it needs to look at the price difference to see where the money is going.

    If you have kids, fund their OU education whilst they earn, and the gap year to have some fun. Far cheaper, and better too for them long term. Who do you employ? The OU student with lots of practical experience, and a degree that they had to work for the hard way, or Tristian with no experience and a degree in propping up the student bar?

  8. chris star

    Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole queue..
    http://t.co/joSUH2Jb

  9. Michael

    Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole queue l Left Foot Forward – http://t.co/epzKLr9o

  10. David Smout

    Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole queue | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/527sDu8R

  11. Charles

    What’s more the trend reversed in 2001, the same year as Brownonomics properly started.

  12. Geoff, England

    You should specify that it’s only in England that the £9,000 per annum fees are applied. It gives me no pleasure to remind people that it was a Labour government that introduced tuition fees. So much for Blair’s emphasis on education, education, education.

  13. BerthaBerserker

    Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole queue: http://t.co/Hkng9bj5 writes @UCU's Sally Hunt

  14. Unemployment: How Cameron and Clegg are letting the next generation down | Left Foot Forward

    […] unemployment figures (pdf) provide a grim reckoning of the mounting human, social, and long-term economic cost of this government’s failure […]

  15. Rosalyn Ross

    Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole …: Similarly, where is the sense… http://t.co/R8T5T0ZI

  16. Lord Blagger

    Yep – nothing like a bit of revision. Tractor production numbers are up.

  17. Look Left – Labour hold Feltham but deeper problems remain | Left Foot Forward

    […] the grim prospects for the young unemployed, Sally Hunt wrote: “With the job market getting tougher by the day for young people, access to education and […]

  18. Riversm00nraker

    When did the graph start to climb? Who was in charge when the trend started? Who did nothing but waste money on the problem for (about) nine years, failing to reverse the trend? Who left a financial mess that makes it so difficult to deal with?

    Give me an “L”, give me an “A”, give me a…. you get the picture……………………..

  19. Lord Blagger

    Spot on.

  20. Government funding of university research at lowest proportion since 1900s | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole queue – Sally Hunt, December 14th […]

  21. 2012: The year ahead for young people | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Cameron is pricing the young out of education and consigning them to the dole queue – Sally Hunt, December 14th […]

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