A comparative study across several countries by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills has identified that countries where a large number of those in education also work have lower levels of unemployment. The paper, “Precarious Futures? Youth employment in an international context” can be found can be read in full here or you can read the related article in HR Magazine.
It makes for interesting reading. The comparison between the UK and Australia is certainly thought-provoking. But does it raise more questions than it answers? Is it dangerous to put youth unemployment down to lack of training opportunities or work opportunities alone? Should we be looking instead at the attitudes our young people hold towards the world of work and the early development of skills, or the attitude that employers hold towards young people? Is the current push toward apprenticeships providing enough decent options for our NEET? And if not, what can we do about it? And what should we be learning from other countries whose statistics are much more favourable?