Youth unemployment and apprenticeships

The Office for National Statistics, has published the latest labour market statistics, which show that:

  • In the three months to August 2013, there were 958,000 unemployed 16 to 24 years olds, little change from the previous quarter;
  • The unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds was 21 percent, up 0.1 percentage points from the previous quarter; and
  • The number of 16 to 24 years olds unemployed for over a year decreased to 279,000 (from 282,000) and the number unemployed for over two years rose to 115,000 (from 103,000).

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In addition the TUC has published a summary of youth unemployment by region and gender, which can be accessed at

These statistics show that overall youth unemployment in the East Midlands is slightly below the national average at 20.5 percent with female youth unemployment at 19.8 percent however male youth unemployment is slightly above the national average at 21.2 percent.

One solution to youth unemployment is apprentices and the Data Service has published the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Statistical First Release, which shows data on adult learner participation and achievement for further education. The report found that nearly 860,000 people were on an apprenticeship in 2012/13 and there were over 1.5 million apprenticeship starts since 2010.

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FE Week has published a summary of some of the figures, which show a 12% (14,600) fall in 16-18 apprenticeship starts. To access the summary visit

In addition, The Sutton Trust has published Real Apprenticeships, which analyses the current situation in England and draws on international experiences.

The report found that in 2011/12 fewer than 200,000 of the 520,000 apprenticeships in England were at level 3 (A level standard) or higher; and only 61,000 new apprenticeship starts in 2011/12 were created for young people. The report calls for around 300,000 extra three-year apprenticeship places each year and said this could improve annual GDP by nearly £8billion and reduce the national deficit by £2.6billion.

To download the report visit