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August 20, 2009

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Recession takes toll on young Brits

A RECORD number of British young people age 18 to 24 are not in jobs, education or training, the latest government figures have showed, fueling concern that a generation of people who left school could be lost to the recession.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families said on Tuesday there are more than 100,000 more young adults classed as so-called Neets - not in education, employment or training - than there were in the same quarter last year.

In total, 835,000 young people are now Neets, up from 730,000 for the same quarter last year.

The DCSF statistics mean that more than one in six young people are without a job or a place in education or training.

Seizing on the figures, opposition parties said the Labour government was failing to give young people the vital support they needed during the economic downturn.

The Confederation of British Industry drew comparisons with the experience of the 1980s recession, saying that "unemployment scarred the lives of young people."

Liberal Democrat shadow schools secretary David Laws said the young were clearly bearing the brunt of the recession and that the trend, if allowed to continue, risked creating "a lost generation."

"Labour claimed it would reduce the number of Neets. Instead it has failed spectacularly and there are now more than ever," Laws said.

For the Conservatives, David Willets, shadow universities and skills secretary, called for more apprenticeship opportunities, more postgraduate places and better careers advice.


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