Cost of youth unemployment

SIR - Too many young people are still feeling the effects of the worst recession in recent history. Those with fewest qualifications are being pushed further back in the queue for work, leaving thousands stranded in the dole queue.

This month, The Prince’s Trust and The Royal Bank of Scotland Group have released their Cost of Exclusion report which revealed how much this youth disadvantage is costing the UK.

In the South West alone, youth unemployment could cost up to �10.3 million a week through benefits and lost productivity. Even a conservative estimate - based on lost productivity being equivalent to Jobseeker’s Allowance - suggests that youth unemployment costs per week for the South East would be more than �3 million a week. Based on lost productivity being equivalent to the average weekly wage for their age group, the cost of youth unemployment in the south west is �10.3 million a week.

Youth charity The Prince’s Trust can give young people the skills and confidence to leave the dole queue for good for a fraction of this cost. At this time when there is huge pressure on the public purse, the Cost of Exclusion report shows that it is possible to help young people into jobs while saving the state billions. Government, charities and employers must work together now to deliver this vital change.

To find out more go to www.princes-trust.org.uk or call 0800 842 842.

Rick Libbey

Prince’s Trust South West

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