More than a million young people, aged 16 to 24, are unemployed. That does not include students. Every single person included in that number is not in employment, not in education, and not in training either – the so-called NEETs.
That is a shocking figure, and as well as having a profound impact on the lives of each of those young people, it also affects the rest of us.
As Nick Clegg says, “Sitting at home with nothing to do when you’re so young can knock the stuffing out of you for years. It is a tragedy for the young people involved – a ticking time bomb for the economy and our society as a whole.”
“This problem isn’t new, but in the current economic climate we urgently need to step up efforts to ensure some of our most troubled teenagers have the skills, confidence and opportunities to succeed.”
Today he has launched a £126 million scheme that is targeted at the 16 and 17 year olds. Employers will be offered up to £2,200 for taking on a young person, with more cash to follow if they make progress.
This scheme will help 55,000 young people, and hopefully provide them with some direction to their lives.
* Mary Reid is the Tuesday Editor on Lib Dem Voice.