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By Newsdesk

Friday, October 26, 2012.

Young Black Britons have experienced the sharpest rise in unemployment since the Conservative-Liberal Democrats coalition government came to power in 2010, according to a report on youth unemployment published by a leading trade union.

The study by the TUC points out that more than one in four of all black 16-24 year olds – about 26 per cent -are currently out of work.

The TUC report, published to coincide with the TUC Poverty conference held recently at its central London headquarters. It analyses official data on youth unemployment proportions and jobless rates of young people aged 16-24 year olds who are neither in work nor training over the last decade.

The report also finds that white and Asian youngsters are now twice as likely to be unemployed as those from the same ethnic group over the age of 24.

Young Black men are more likely to be unemployed than any other ethnic group, followed by young Black women at 17 per cent. Next to them are white and Asian men at 16 per cent unemployment rate.

The study says young Asian women have experienced the sharpest rise in unemployment over the last decade, rising from 6 per cent in 2002 to 13 per cent in 2012. However, they are still less likely to be unemployed than most other people their age.

Overall, this report shows that men are more likely to be unemployed than women amongst all ethnic groups, though the gender divide is starkest among white and black youngsters.

The proportion of young people who are not in work or education has been more stable, with jobless rates for Black and Asian youngsters actually falling between 2002 and 2010, most likely because high numbers of young people from these groups entered further and higher education, says the TUC.

However, in the last two years jobless rates have started rising again. Young black men have once again been the most affected, increasing from 15 per cent to 22 per cent in the last two years.

The TUC argues that the scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and the abolition of college-based apprenticeships are likely to have played a key role in holding back education prospects for young black men.

Support programmes to help young people back into work have been cut by 26 per cent over the same time period, illustrating the government’s failure to put sufficient resources into tackling the UK’s youth jobs crisis, says the TUC.

The coalition government says it is tackling jobless rates among all groups and that its own figures suggest unemployment is falling just as the UK GDP is increasing.

But TUC’s Brendan Barber said: “The UK is in the midst of a youth jobs crisis. Over a million youngsters are out of work and many more are struggling to find the finances needed to further their education.

“The Prime Minister singled out employment as a great success of the government. That’s cold comfort to the one in four young black men struggling for work, or the one in six jobless young black women.

“It’s shocking that with so many young people unable to find jobs, ministers have slashed support to help them get their careers off the ground. This short-sighted attitude is not just making young people angry, it’s hurting the parents and grandparents of young people who desperately want them to have a better start to their working lives.


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