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Young people have been through a tough time in terms of employment in the last few years. Youth unemployment in the UK saw a big spike after the outbreak of the pandemic, with the unemployment rate reaching a high of 14.9% in July-September 2020 – this was 15% higher in this quarter than pre-pandemic in September-December 2019.

While the situation has improved since, the gains of the COVID-19 recovery have not been experienced equally; young people are still more than twice as likely to be out of work than those above 25 (and this is even more likely for those from a minority ethnic background, with a disability or experiencing mental health conditions).

Solutions like the Kickstart scheme saw a temporary fix to many of the issues being experienced at that time – but this great initiative sadly didn’t translate into any similarly ambitious schemes or legislation post-pandemic.

The good news is that youth unemployment has been steadily falling recently. Between July-September 2022 there were 399,000 unemployed young people aged 16-24, this was down 29,000 from the previous quarter and down 77,000 from the year before.

Youth unemployment rates in Manchester

Zeroing in on Manchester also reveals challenges for young people trying to enter the job market.

Despite the unemployment rate falling gradually year by year, 20% (or 38,600 of 189,100) 17–25-year-olds in the Greater Manchester area are struggling to find meaningful employment.

Within Inner-city Manchester, there are 28,000 young people, with 38% (or 10,900) of these estimated to be disadvantaged – this includes young people disadvantaged by their financial backgrounds, those with additional needs, those from ethnic minority backgrounds, those who have been in care and those who have been involved with the criminal justice system

From July-September 2022, the unemployment rate for 16–24-year-olds in Inner-Manchester was 10.5% – this is up from 9.1% in the previous quarter but down from 11.2% the year before.

So, there’s clearly a need for employers to not only create more jobs and opportunities for young people but also to ensure fair and equitable access.

Young people have plenty of raw potential and if they had more help in accessing suitable jobs, apprenticeships or work placements, we’d all experience the benefits – just imagine what your business could do with an engaged young workforce who felt secure in their role, loyal to you as an employer and with a passion for their role and a hunger to learn and deliver more!

On the flip side, youth employment is shown to have many negative impacts on everyone (not just those directly affected) and to shy away from this fact is harmful to society and to the economy as a whole.

Young people are the workforce of today AND tomorrow, and while talent is evenly distributed, opportunities are not. Ultimately, if young people succeed, we all win!

Opportunities for young people in the Manchester area

Our volunteers are super friendly and the help we offer is adapted to individuals – it’s not a one-size-fits-all mentality, and we will tailor your experience as a young person to your circumstances – whatever they may be.

We work one to one and provide workshops so there are lots of ways we can support you. All a young person needs to do is make initial contact and we can support them the rest of the way.

We are also excited to have some amazing technology apprenticeship opportunities available at the moment. You can see these here:

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