The Prince’s Trust and Sheffield University have spent time analysing previous recessions and have predicted that one in five of the teenagers who are set to receive their GCSE results next week could be receiving unemployment benefit by the time there are 21. The report adds that if the current recession played out like those of the 1970s, 80s and 90s, the UK could see mass levels of youth unemployment.
The Prince’s Trust report was compiled by professor of human geography at Sheffield University, Danny Dorling, who said “If the number of young people on the dole exceeds a million, this summer’s school leavers will be the hardest hit since the 1929 crash – with those without qualifications worst off,”
The government has urged an intervention and said it was investing billions of pounds to give youngsters training and work opportunities. A government spokesman said: “We agree with the Prince’s Trust that we have to help young people. The government is already… investing more than £6.9bn to deliver more than 1.5 million learning opportunities for 16 to 18 year olds, and more than £1bn to deliver an additional 200,000 employment opportunities and 100,000 apprenticeships for 19 to 24-year-olds”.
Martina Milburn, chief executive of the Prince’s Trust, said: “It is more important than ever that we support those with fewest qualifications before they become a lost generation.”