Chancellor George Osborne must include measures in the Budget in March to address youth unemployment and training, says the British Chambers of Commerce. The business group is calling for a £100m scheme to encourage companies to hire the jobless young or apprentices. It is also calling for tax incentives to encourage investment in young entrepreneurs.
There are currently almost 920,000 young unemployed people in the UK. The unemployment rate for 16 to 24-year-olds is 19.9%, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics last week. Youth unemployment is now at its lowest level since the spring of 2011. The total number of jobless people is 2.34 million – or 7.2%. BCC director general John Longworth said while youth unemployment had improved slightly, young people were almost three times more likely to be unemployed than members of the workforce as a whole.