How can the young avoid a jobless future?

Who would want to be a young job seeker in the UK or anywhere else today? A raft of gloomy employment news has triggered fears that a fresh generation in the UK could be consigned to unemployment, and in the US President Barack Obama plans to create 125,000 “youth summer jobs“.

BT, the telecoms group, at the weekend confirmed that it had suspended its main graduate recruitment scheme, as part of a cost-cutting programme that will see thousands of jobs shed this year.

According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters, graduate jobs have been cut by one quarter this year and 48 UK graduates will compete for every job on offer. Those who have chosen to look for a job rather than go to sixth form college face their own challenges. Sixteen to 18 year-olds are at the bottom of the pecking order among employers, research suggests.

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Saturdays and spare time: our well-spent youth
Lakshmi Mittal, James Dyson and other entrepreneurs share their experiences

Brian Groom: Lack of qualified staff prompts UK recovery fears
Skills shortages, Britain’s perennial bugbear, are continuing to hamper employers in spite of unemployment rising towards 3m. Companies fear the issue could harm their competitiveness in a recovery and warn that the UK will find it hard to keep up with rising international standards.

David Turner: Degrees of separation
What your job prospects are varies enormously, depending on whether, where and when you went to university, what you did there, how long you stayed at school, and how old you are.

Andrew Hill: The value of trainees
As a former graduate trainee (FT School of ‘88), I can hardly be expected to praise BT’s decision to suspend its main graduate recruitment scheme. The closure of the programme from next year sends a terrible signal.

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