Foreign Workers Becoming Preferable to Young Brits

Posted on 18 August, 2012 by Kirsten Kennedy

With unemployment a very real issue in Britain today, it was recently revealed that young people aged 16-25 are the group most likely to be in the queues for Job Seeker’s Allowance. However, an employers’ group has revealed that there may be a reason why so many young people are struggling to find employment in the current economic climate.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), employers prefer to hire foreign workers over native British jobseekers as “young people in Britain just don’t want to work.” Employers perceive this particular group as “lazy and uneducated”, therefore reasoning that taking a young person on may end up costing them in the long run with regards to reliability and a strong work ethic.

This has led to less than one in four employers being willing to take on a British young person at their firm, the CIPD claims.

The report was publicised just after the latest unemployment figures were revealed earlier this week. Currently there are one million young people out of work in the UK which, although the figure has fallen by 4,000 since the results were last calculated, still means that youth unemployment is at crisis point, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Furthermore, the TUC accused the Government of failing young people by cutting financial support for students, meaning that many are forced to put aside ambitions of continuing into further education after leaving school. Additionally, as half a million young people have now been out of work for six months or more, they count as long term unemployed – putting their careers in jeopardy before they have even begun.

Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC, says; “It’s particularly worrying that long term joblessness for young people is still rising, even as overall unemployment falls. If this continues we could lose a generation of talented and highly qualified youngsters to blighted careers, debt and under achievement.

“Ministers should be doing everything they can to help young people but so far all they’ve done is cut vital financial support for college students and price people out of university.

“Jobs support has been scrapped, scaled back and then reinstated on the cheap. This is no sensible way to help young people into work or education.”

Indeed, the rise in university fees has had a devastating effect upon universities, who have seen a sharp fall in the number of students applying for courses beginning next month. Whilst the financial climate means that many worry about paying back student loans, it seems that the risk of losing out on stable employment by choosing to go into further education has certainly been an influential factor in this new problem.

In a poll of 800 young people conducted by the National Union of Students, it was found that three in four intending to start university courses this autumn are already worried about employment opportunities upon receiving their degree. Furthermore, thanks to a combination of fee rises and Government cuts for students, two thirds of those polled are concerned about their finances whilst studying.

Rachel Wenstone, NUS vice president, said; “For many people, a university degree has traditionally given them the opportunity to access the employment of their choice. Now those who make it to university are no longer guaranteed employment in the way that previous generations were.

“Unemployment amongst graduates is still lower than for those without a degree but those getting their A-level results this year face harder decisions than many about their futures.”

Also included in the CIPD’s report into youth unemployment was the fact that employers blame failing schools in the UK and poor education standards for their decisions, in many cases, to take on foreign workers rather than young British people. Yet with a lack of funding in educational commercial properties and the pre-conceived notion that all young people in this country would prefer not to work, it seems that the youth of modern day Great Britain are stuck in a vicious circle.

A spokesman for Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions Secretary, responded to the claims by the TUC that the Government are doing very little to help young people gain employment or the ability to continue their education.

He said; “Youth unemployment fell last month and there are fewer young people on Job Seekers Allowance or any other temporary support now than there was in May 2010.

“This is still a big challenge and we don’t underestimate it for one moment. We are fully committed to helping young people get the skills and experience they need to get a job.

“Over the next three years the Youth Contract will offer nearly 500,000 opportunities for young people through work experience, apprenticeships and wage subsidies to help them find work.”

Do you believe that the Government are doing the best they possibly can to help young people find employment, or do you think the TUC are right in saying the Government has allowed a generation of British people to slip through the net? Are you a commercial property employer who is willing to take on young British workers, or do you agree that foreigners are a wiser choice in the current financial situation?

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