We need to talk around education and youth unemployment
Michael Mercieca writes for real business
Michael Mercieca, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise, writes:
“After much speculation, predictions and comment, George Osborne has delivered his last Budget before the May election. But for all the fanfare of ISAs and reducing the deficit, there was a worrying lack of talk around education and youth unemployment. Is there a sustained and long-term plan for the next generation?
ONS’s latest Labour statistics show youth unemployment to be triple the headline rate, at 16.2 per cent. While this is an improvement of 0.4 per cent from the previous quarter, it remains far too high, and represents a large number of young people who are unemployed and economically inactive; 1.4m in total.
Despite employment being on the up across the country, which is important for the improvement of the economy, youth employment is still nowhere near where it should be, for example Germany’s and Norway’s youth unemployment rates are at seven per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively.
This change should be made at grassroots level; in school. Research from the Money Advice Service shows that adult money habits can be formed as young as seven. As such, beginning financial education in primary school and making it a statutory part of the curriculum will make a real difference to nationwide levels of financial literacy and capability. Future generations will finish education equipped with essential life skills, making them more prepared for work and life and more employable.
The government should place emphasis on the importance of financial capability and savings, and giving young people the advice they need. By providing people with the tools and ability to see the bigger picture, they will be in a healthier financial situation and be able to leave the credit culture behind.”