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It's a difficult time to be young...

Submitted on Wed, 12/08/2009 - 4:13pm

Statistics published by the BBC today suggest that one in six 16-24 yr olds are currently unemployed. That's almost one million unemployed young people in the UK. Politicians and various organisations have expressed polarised views on the best ways that young people can get back into employment.

Graduate Talent Pool

The current government is encouraging young people to participate in internships to improve employability. They have set up the Graduate Talent Pool, a website for graduates that helps them find internships and work placements. They currently have 5,000 placements available, but a quick scan of their website shows that many are unpaid.

Is it fair for the government to encourage graduates to work for free?

Youth Fight for Jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs are campaigning for better employment rights for young people. They argue that graduates are being exploited with low wages and unpaid internships and no-one should have to work for free. Their current campaign includes:

  • A living wage for all young people of £8 per hour
  • No University tuition fees
  • Fair pay for apprenticeships

Youth Fight for Jobs argues that young people are taking the brunt of the recession and the government is not doing enough to help young people. The government spent billions of pounds on bailing out the banks, but where is the help for young people?

Graduates unemployed and desperate

The forum of the graduate website Prospects reveals the true desperation of graduates. Forum topics include, 'job hunting terror', 'don't know what to do', and '50% of new graduates earns less than 15K'.

The under 25s face an uncertain and difficult future. It is times like these that they really need the help of our Councillors and MPs.

Get Involved

If you'd like to participate in an internship check out w4mp.org and Graduate Talent Pool

You may feel strongly about the government encouraging young people to participate in unpaid internships. If you want to do something about it. Youth Fight for Jobs are organising a national demonstration on the 28th November, 'For Real Jobs-For Free Education'

You may also be interested in reading our previous article on Unpaid Internships in Politics

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