Students waiting for their GCSE results this week have seen the most “dramatic” changes to their prospects than any other secondary school year group for 70 years, according to a report.
The study by education business Ambitious Minds says the last five years have brought “economic deterioration, systemic failures, false dawns and empty promises”.
It contrasts the state of the economy in 2000, when 16-year-olds were starting primary school, with the recession of today.
With more than a million 16 to 24-year-olds out of work, the study looks at the impact of the recession on job prospects throughout the UK based on published figures.
It points to a north-south divide in young people’s life chances, with those in north eastern England and Scotland having the worst prospects, while London and the south east are relatively unaffected by youth unemployment.
As the economy stagnates, young people and the organisations which support them must understand and grapple with the employment issues that are facing them. Sean McGuire, Ambitious Minds
Ambitious Minds, based in Liverpool, says the north east, Scotland, Yorkshire and the Humber have seen rises in youth unemployment that are twice as large as those in London and the south east.
Corby in Leicestershire has been the worst affected, with unemployment rates among young people rising from 4 to 11 per cent from 2007-12.
This was followed by North Ayrshire, where youth unemployment has risen from 6.5 to 12.6 per cent. Overall, the north east of England had seen the biggest rises.
At the other end of the scale, youth unemployment has increased in London and the south east by 1.4 and 1.6 per cent respectively.
Sean McGuire, chief executive of Ambitious Minds, said: “Those areas which have suffered disproportionately in the last five years need support to prevent unemployment, and especially long-term unemployment, becoming normalised.
“As the economy stagnates, young people and the organisations which support them must understand and grapple with the employment issues that are facing them.”