As we begin this new year, many of the South East’s young people are still without work. The headline rate of unemployment has thankfully come down recently, but official estimates suggest it could go up again over the next year.
It’s a tough time for young people across the whole of the UK. The Prince’s Trust Youth Index has revealed that more than a quarter of young people in the South East (26 per cent) believe their prospects have been ‘permanently damaged’ by the recession.
Tellingly, the young unemployed are more than twice as likely to feel this way.
Here in the South East, we are becoming increasingly concerned about the number of young, long-term unemployed. In the South East, the number of 16 to 24-year-olds claiming Jobseekers Allowance for more than six months has increased by 269 per cent since before the recession.
Many young people who come to our youth charity for help report feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety due to being out of work.
Quite simply, we cannot afford to put them on hold for another year.
There is much to do in 2013 to guide the most vulnerable young people in the South East into jobs - but, working with employers, agencies and local government, we can increase the number of young lives we change.
To see how you can help us, visit www.princes-trust.org.uk
Regional Director, South, The Prince’s Trust, 18 Park Square East, London NW1 4LH