Researchers at the Institute for Public Policy Research has found that one in seven people are unemployed within a year of leaving university or school. A third of those unemployed were graduates who completed undergraduate level education. The study looked at employment patterns for those aged 16–24 who had left full time education to join the job market. The research found that the average unemployment rate was 15%, with 28% being teenagers who left school or college with GCSEs as their highest qualification.
Only 5% of young people who had completed a trade apprenticeship were out of work. Apprenticeships have become a popular policy for all the three main political parties as a solution to youth employment with the number of apprenticeships available doubling since 2009.
However, David Cameron has previously stated that these apprenticeships are funded through cuts to welfare benefits and services. Teresa Frith, representative of The Association of Colleges condemned the government’s proposal to create three million new apprenticeships by saying “apprenticeships should be about providing worthwhile training, not hitting Whitehall targets”.
However it is not all doom and gloom for students, with 60% of those unemployed being non-graduates, students are still better off with a degree. Furthermore, on average graduates earn 52% more than non-graduates. However with £9,000 tuition fees and cuts to high education budgets, only time will tell if the new funding system will be beneficial in the long run.