School-leavers caught between Northern Rock and a hard place

  • Analysis shows marked deterioration in employment prospects for school-leavers
  • North-south divide grows further as youth unemployment soars in North East and Scotland
  • Call for additional support in worst-hit areas to prevent high levels of unemployment becoming “normalised”

Download PDF report: Plugging the iGeneration into the jobs market

Change in the rate of youth unemployment Sep 2007 – July 2012


THE North East and Scotland are being hit by huge rises in youth unemployment while London and the South East remain relatively unaffected.

The 16-year-olds who this week receive their GCSE results have seen the world they are looking to build their lives change beyond all recognition since they began secondary school five years ago, weeks before the run on Northern Rock signalled the public start of the economic crisis.

Our new report, Plugging the iGeneration into the jobs market, highlights the huge regional variations in how the recession has impacted on young people’s employment prospects.

The data highlights a marked north-south divide. The North East, Scotland and Yorkshire and the Humber have been hit by youth claimant count rises that are twice as large as London and the South East

Six of the top 10 places with the largest increases are in Scotland while Britain’s worst-affected place – Corby, in Northamptonshire – has seen its youth unemployment rate rise at three times the average rate, from 4.0% to 11.0% since September 2007.

Sean McGuire, chief executive of Ambitious Minds, said: “Those areas which have suffered disproportionately in the last five years need support to prevent unemployment, and especially long-term unemployment, becoming normalised.

“As the economy stagnates, young people and the organisations which support them must understand and grapple with the employment issues that are facing them.

“Young people face difficult decisions and the only way they can make the best choices for their own lives is to have a full understanding of the implications of what they choose to do, which is achieved by understanding the inter-connectedness between education, employment, personal finance and their aspirations.

“If we fail to change our approach to the way we prepare young people for the new realities of the employment market, we will be storing up problems of such gravity for ourselves that the misery we have all faced over the last five years may not, in retrospect, look so bad after all.”

Notes for editors

Download the full report here:
PDF: Plugging the iGeneration into the jobs market

For more information and to arrange interviews, call Alex Turner on 07813 184093 or email [email protected]. To download an image of Sean McGuire, Chief Executive of Ambitious Minds, for use in publication, click here.