A new survey by Usdaw found that there is extensive underemployment amongst young workers and that the lack of hours available to young workers is exacerbating the cost of living crisis.
The survey results follow this week’s reports that Alan Milburn, the Chair of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, has questioned the value of the Government’s £1bn Youth Contract, which provides a temporary wage subsidy for employers who provide a six-month ‘job start’ for under 25s.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“Usdaw has highlighted a problem that is a huge issue for many of my young constituents, and the unemployment figures mask the true problem of the cost of living crisis. If young people are employed but not given enough hours to meet the cost of living, then their life chances take a hit.
“The crisis in underemployment is hugely damaging for local communities. I call on the Government to do more to ensure young people are given proper jobs, and I hope they will support my Private Members’ Bill which aims to do just that.”
John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary says:
“With almost a million young people still out of work, Alan Milburn is right to call on the government to work with employers to offer young people a guarantee of a job if they are in danger of becoming long-term unemployed.
“However, behind that shocking youth unemployment statistic is a story of significant underemployment, as highlighted in our recent survey.
“Usdaw’s survey found that two-thirds of young people are contracted to work less than 24 hours per week and of those, more than three-quarters wanted extra hours or needed to work longer to meet the cost of living.
“The Government should take substantial action to end long-term youth unemployment. However the answer to the cost of living crisis that too many young workers face is not the benefit sanctions, it is the guarantee of a properly paid, good quality, full-time job.”