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Youngsters in South West 'damaged' by ongoing recession

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 03, 2013

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More than a fifth of youngsters in the South West believe their prospects have been "permanently damaged" by the recession, a new report claims.

More than a third of the so-called "lost generation" in parts of the Westcountry have reported feeling depressed as a result of the stagnant labour market.

The Prince's Trust, which conducted a survey of more than 2,000 16 to 25-year-olds said the results showed the emotional toll of the economic crisis.

Since the banking crisis sparked economic turmoil in 2008, long-term youth joblessness in Devon and Cornwall has soared from 340 in 2008 to 2,850 at the end of last year.

The Youth Index report this week paints a "bleak picture" with one in seven surveyed (14%) saying they feel their career now has no future.

Dermot Finch, regional director of The Prince's Trust, said: "We fear that a happy New Year could prove very elusive indeed for these youngsters if they aren't supported into jobs, education or training."

Experts claim little has changed during the last 12 months and say it is no surprise that young people are feeling "pretty down".

Jenny Rudge, chief executive of Careers South West, said the labour market was "shut" at the moment, despite high unemployment and a skills shortage.

She said she was worried about where the "innovation" needed to grow the economy was going to come from.

"These figures are very worrying and there will be a group which are permanently damaged," she added.

"It feels like we are on hold and could get even trickier in 2013 and 2014 and we do run the risk of having this lost generation who will feel more disillusioned."

Youth unemployment hit the million mark nationally last year, prompting the Government to announce a £1 billion Youth Contract.

Private companies have been drafted in to try to tackle the problem by getting teenagers with no qualifications into education or employment.

The Prince's Trust warns many are "losing hope".

It says many are becoming trapped in a cycle of long-term joblessness and has drafted in celebrities such as singer Alesha Dixon and musician and record producer Mark Ronson as youth ambassadors to help.

The fifth instalment of the Youth Index comes after long-term youth unemployment in the region grew by 336% in four years.

Based on interviews with 2,136 16 to 25-year-olds, the index also reveals that one in five unemployed young people believe their confidence will never recover from their spell out of work.

It shows that young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) are significantly more likely to feel they have no future due to the economic crisis.

More than a third of young people (36%) in Devon feel down or depressed "always" or "often", with the report showing this to be much higher among NEETs.

The same number believe their prospects have been "permanently damaged" by the recession with more than a quarter (31%) feeling they have no future due to the economic crisis.

Mr Finch added: "We know that it is often those from the most vulnerable backgrounds who end up furthest from the job market.

"Life can become a demoralising downward spiral – from a challenging childhood into life as a jobless adult."

Despite the gloom, Mrs Rudge said there had been a small drop in the number of NEETs in the two counties, from 5.6% to 5.4% in the year to November 2012.

But she added: "It is getting tougher in rural areas where transport is such a challenge for 16 to 18-year-olds.

"There is increasingly more pressure on people to move when we want the creative energy and spending power our young people to fuel our recovery."

Read more from Exeter Express and Echo

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  • eu_blues  |  January 05 2013, 12:05AM

    Personally, I cannot see the UK ever leaving the EU. All political parties work to a timetable/agenda of their masters. I remember when Margaret Thatcher stated that their wasn't enough English people having children to pay off the national debt, so dear Maggie opened the flood gates to immigration. Over the last forty years or so, concessive UK governments have advertised the UK as the best place for getting free benefits and displacing future UK residents to the opportunities of employment. I don't blame those coming into the UK on mass, but you have to look at why mass immigration is desired. Nation states are being destroyed, and national sovereignty is being replaced by a super-national, single identity of a EU Superstate that is being built for the common purpose of a single cultural identity. Much of what we see taking shape is a desired formula for the future world state to come. Governments are only too willing to sell the old culture, national identity and allow endless immigrants into the UK to breakdown the UK's unique cultural identity. Many countries are facing the same copycat pattern. The future won't be about a singular national identity under a independent nation state, but a fully fledged technocratic superstate that Orwell or Bertrand Russell would be proud of. UKIP is just another party that will offer very little to those that vote for it. Nothing will stop the total onslaught of the coming EU superstate. The damage was done a long time ago. The manufacturing base will never come back, and those that rule over us won't allow any country the luxury of breaking free of such a system. We're witnessing the end of sovereign nations, and the birth pangs of global governance.

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  • Rosie33222  |  January 04 2013, 11:02PM

    its not the eastern europeans that are all taking all jobs its the old people that are putting us out of work penzance is a small town and its hard enough to get a job but when you get businesses only looking for senior or experienced staff how are the young people suppose to get a chance to even start work. my last job finished in december 2012 which was seasonal i have been looking for work ever since i go out every day and if I see a job in the window I put my CV in there,i also look online, i have had no choice but to go on job seekers allowance and i do admit when going to sign on every two weeks you can definitely tell who the scroungers are.Its all well and good the government bringing in new schemes and courses for young people to get back into work but for small towns like us how can we when there are no jobs ?

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  • kimmyp  |  January 04 2013, 8:49PM

    jezza999 We have been through it too, I was made redundant my partner twice and nearly again last year, when the banks went they took us with them, we have fought like hell to keep the little we have left. We are not living where we thought we would be and have made huge sacrifices. I have cleaned other peoples homes, taken in laundry, looked after other peoples kids. The point is you were prepared to do anything so was I. There are a lot of people today including young people who would point blank refuse this sort of work wether they have any qualifications or not. Nobody in there right mind wants to see able people out of work but being young doesn't automatically entitle you to a job even if there were plenty of jobs available. they are not more deserving than anyone else. My brother worked at a college, he was an instructor in mechanics. The fascilities were truely amazing. his class was thirty 17 to 24 year olds. he was lucky if half the class turned up. they couldn't turn up on time and there reading and writing skills were apalling. My brother interviewed one young man about his lack of attendance. The young man informed my brother he didn't want to do the course his mother made him so she could keep her benefits. My brother then asked him what he wanted to do for work, he replied, "workin' is for fools man" . This was not the minority.

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  • Jungle_Jim  |  January 04 2013, 7:19PM

    Josdave A term used exclusively by UKIP supporters in this discussion,

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  • josdave  |  January 04 2013, 7:02PM

    One thing I never get is that anyone who is against immigration is branded a racist. This island is severely overcrowded and to my mind we do not want any immigration and for that I do not consider myself a racist. I am a supporter of UKIP who get my vote as the only party committed to getting us out of this mess they call the EU and yet by some they also are branded as racist. There is a hard core of people who brand anyone who is against immigration as racist and they need to get a life and wake up to reality.

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  • AnGof2012  |  January 04 2013, 6:41PM

    The English system - in decline and failing fast.

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  • Jungle_Jim  |  January 04 2013, 6:23PM

    There's nothing wrong with being unemployed, these things happen - as long as it doesn't become a career choice. Beware the 'nationalist' party whose supporters point fingers at a minority.

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  • Jezza999  |  January 04 2013, 4:48PM

    @ kimmyp You have now raised an entirely separate but related discussion. The (for want of a better word) 'decline' in social values that you note has multiple causes, far beyond politics or even simple economics. It is my personal belief that the UK needs to be a self determining, autonomous nation before we can even begin to discuss how we address the problems that we face. The only party that is committed to a non-racist civic nationalism is UKIP and that is why I support them. I am not a member, nor do I in any way speak for anyone but myself. (BTW I have had a couple of periods of unemployment myself - I am retired now - so I know a bit about being sneered at by my 'betters' as a 'layabout', 'scrounger', whatever.) For the most part, when it comes to living at the bottom of the pile, those who know don't talk and those who talk don't know. Anyhow, this is now getting way off topic which is a *lot* of unemployed young people. In my youth - say fifty years ago - you could always get a job of some sort and I have done all sorts from washing dishes to working on building sites. Today's young people don't have the same sorts of opportunities - they deserve better.

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  • Jungle_Jim  |  January 04 2013, 4:24PM

    The fact is, if all the recent migrants from eastern Europe gave notice and then went 'home' we would be in a fair old mess in short order as we would struggle to get people to fill many of the (even unskilled) jobs. Which won't help anyone. So who's putting 'putting its own people first'?

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  • kimmyp  |  January 04 2013, 4:19PM

    jezza999 I understand and admire your passion but I have spent many many hours reading all sorts from all political parties, and yes you are right UKIP do have more than one policy, their vote winner being exiting the EU. My problem with this is that most people are mixing up financial, political and social asspects. Surely even you will be able to see that if the jobs were not available in the first place they would not be coming here to work. I personally have never felt "European" I am British, an islander. I think we have more affinity with America, Australia, Canada, etc, we do need to be able to trade with the whole of Europe but I think like many people in this country I want our identity and heritage left intact. Our laws, human rights, health, social care and welfare decided on by british people in this country. But this does not detract from the fact that our liberal approach to life over the last few decades has now gone full circle and bitten us in the bottom. Sorry but we have turned into a nation of over indulged work shy people. Greedy and self absorbed and shallow. If we really want to help future generations and our youth of today we need to toughen up and force people from all walks of life to take responsibility for themselves and stop waiting for someone else to hand it on a plate.

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