Tackling Unemployment Among Disadvantaged Young People: Research for Centrepoint

Jonathan Buzzeo*, Rosanna Alice Marvell, Clare Everett, Becci Newton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


In spite of the recent economic recovery, levels of youth unemployment remain high, relative to other age groups. Young people, aged 16 to 24, are almost three times as likely to be unemployed as all other age groups combined. Disadvantaged young people, such as those who have experienced homelessness are particularly likely to be unemployed. Due to the multiple and complex barriers that this group faces when finding a route into employment they are more often not in education, employment or training (classified as NEET) compared with other 16 to 24 year olds. These barriers can include:

• Poor educational experiences and low attainment
• Lack of labour market experience and high competition for job vacancies
• Lack of a permanent address
• Financial pressures
• Low confidence and personal motivation
• Mental health and substance misuse problems
• History of institutional care
• Financial barriers to travelling

In July 2015, as part of their strategy to tackle youth unemployment, the Government announced a statutory commitment to achieve three million new apprenticeships by 2020. This will be introduced alongside the Youth Obligation, which will provide young claimants with access to a new three week intensive programme of support around employability skills in order to get them ‘work-ready’. After six months, claimants will be expected to apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship, gain work-based skills, undertake a mandatory work placement or face losing their benefit. In announcing these policies, the Government was explicit that it expects all young people to be earning or learning in future and that it intends to create a ‘no excuses’ culture in addressing youth unemployment and long-term welfare dependency.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherInstitute for Employment Studies
Commissioning bodyInstitute for Employment Studies
Number of pages46
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


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