Tackling unemployment: The live debate

Tackling unemployment is on top of the agenda for the Government and local Governments. Today, The Guardian hosted a live debate discussing what is required to solve this ever-growing problem. And of course The South London Jobs Fair and 3D Change were on the front line providing our opinions and ideas to fuel the conversation.

We discussed a wide range of topics including initiative programs, incentives, apprenticeships, interns, the economical climate, SME’s, social regeneration and the Government’s Big Society Drive, all of which will be discussed in depth at the Jobs Fair.

From the debate, many interesting comments were made and many questions arose. Apprenticeships were a trending topic as were incentives and recruitment agencies. Volunteering was also a topic, and the one topic not everyone agreed on.

Young people see the disparity between wage versus time and expectation and duty versus ability and rights and this can sometimes limit the jobs that are available. There is no motivation to apply for a job if the wage is less than what the young person is earning on allowances.

Through the debate, we have listed below some important observations:

–        Experience of and exposure to the workplace can significantly reduce the risk of youth unemployment

–        Intermediaries have a very important part to play in tackling unemployment

–        Employability and attitude is important to the business owners that create the jobs

–        The ‘offer’ to young people

–        Not all young people are in the same position – many young people are doing well and deserve some credit

Another important factor, which we emphasised throughout the debate, was that SME’s play an extremely important part in employment. They provide greater opportunities in the sense of internships and volunteering and they provide the most jobs. However, during this economical climate, these companies have been hit the hardest with lack or finances or support.

David Cameron and the Coalition are keen to note how the private sector will pick up where the public sector ended. How is this going to happen? Incentives are needed for both young people and employers in businesses both small and large, which go beyond offering apprenticeships and internships. Young people need support and training before going into employment as well as when in employment. We believe that a mentoring scheme would be beneficial, easy to implement and inexpensive.

South London Jobs Fair has been developed to tackle this ongoing situation and we thoroughly believe that there needs to be more opportunities that place jobseekers in front of perspective employers.

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