Youth unemployment has reached a five year high. According to figures obtained by The Scotsman, the number of young people claiming job seekers allowance for more than 12 months in Scotland has risen by more than 1,100 per cent in five years.
The news comes at a testing time for Scotland’s youth as graduate prospects appear bleak for some final year students. The rise in unemployment has affected all areas of the United Kingdom but Scotland has been hit particularly hard.
Figures released by the Scottish Trade Unions Congress (STUC) stated that 5,210 Scots between the ages of 18 and 24 had been receiving job seekers allowance for more than 12 months.
Georgina Wardrop, who a member of the STUC’s youth committee is set to lead the campaign against youth unemployment. In an excerpt of a speech obtained by the BBC Ms Wardrop said: “It is time that government at all levels takes meaningful action to provide hope and avoid another lost generation”. In addition to this Ms Wardrop also called for the coalition government in Westminster to “abandon austerity”.
Stephen Boyd, who is the STUC’s assistant secretary supported Ms Wardrop when he stated: ““The increase in the number of people unemployed for more than a year demonstrates the scale of the problem and it’s a message that’s in danger of being lost.
“We will be left with the human, economic, and social consequences of this decade for some time.”
The news comes following moves by NUS and NUS Scotland to guarantee more places for students at university in the ‘Funding Our Future’ campaign. In a statement on the NUS website the campaign claims that policies being passed by the coalition government are “pricing students out of education” and that there is a need to ensure a prosperous future by investing in education and encouraging students to attend university by cutting tuition fees.