Published on leftfoot forward.org, by Alex Hern, January 76, 2012.
In better times, a look at the year ahead for young people in Britain may have covered a broad spectrum of topics. Currently, however, there is only one topic on the minds of most under-25 year olds: work.
Youth unemployment, and the various ways of dealing with it, dominate the agenda for young people in Britain today.
- The most immediate event will be the outcome of Cait Reilly’s legal action against the government and its work placement programme.
- The programme requires young to work for up to 30 hours a week, unpaid, in order to keep their jobseekers allowance.
- Technically, they must express an interest before they can be placed, and are given a one-week cooling-off period; however, some have reported that they were put on the scheme without knowing about these rules.
- After the cooling-off period, jobseekers must finish their programme, which can be as long as eight weeks, or lose benefits.
- Cait is one of the young people who has worked on the program.
The BBC reported:
- Ms Reilly was told in November of an opportunity to attend an open day about job vacancies that could lead to a week’s training and a job interview.
- He said when she attended the open day she discovered the training would last up to six weeks, including a two-week, unpaid retail placement.
- As a result, she is challenging the legality of the programme under the human rights act. Her solicitors argue that the element of coercion involved renders this programme, and others like it, illegal … //
… But for the vast majority of young people in Britain today, it’s the economy, stupid. (full text and related articles).