The youth, according to the United Nations (UN), consists of people between the age groups of fifteen to twenty-four, with both the years inclusive. In normal practice, however, the definition tends to vary based on the political, cultural, and institutional cultures. In Britain, the term youth refers to those people within the age group of between 16 and18, as defined in the ‘term youth refers to those people within the age group of between 16 and18, as defined in the ‘Youth Empowerment Policy’. Unemployment on the other hand refers to the people who, although are available for and are actively looking for work, have not been engaged in work for periods not more than one hour during the short period reference. This is however not exclusive as different countries have different benchmarks like in the Netherlands, a person who has worked for periods less than 12 hours within the reference week is considered unemployed.
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Over the years, there have been remarkable unemployment rates among youths all across the globe as compared to the age brackets that are regarded as adults. This has not been helped by the fact that most of the world’s major economies are currently witnessing recession. This means that instead of any more jobs being created, they are lost. Records from the Labour Market Statistics show that in the month of November alone, the unemployment rate rose by up to 5.8% from the previous 0.4%, with the average working-age estimated at 74.4%, also down by 0.4% in the last quarter of the year. Since 2002, the unemployment rate amongst the youths in the UK alone has risen from 11% to 14% in 2008.
The big question, therefore, is the possible reasons for the ever-escalating unemployment rate among the youths: some of the reasons being floated is the polarization of the market. This technically makes it a little difficult for those youths who leave school with worse grades to get a job. Reports show that those who perform fairly well by attaining at least five good GCSEs have a higher chance of landing themselves some job within the first year of leaving school. In contrast, only about 45% of those who leave school with lower grades do get jobs within the same period. This also looks to be rapidly changing. This is so because opportunities are being created at high-risk areas that require only qualified people.
The other reason could be attributed to the increasing number of people dropping out of school. Statistics show that the number currently stands at 13% up from 11.6% in the year 1997. This in itself limits the competitiveness of this group of people in the job market where only skilled and qualified persons are needed.
In their attempts to move from being unemployed to the employment bracket, the youths in the rural areas find it a bit of a challenge to get a connection with the local informal networks. This would provide them with information about the forthcoming employment opportunities or even personal recommendations for jobs
Those youths living in the rural areas find it a little hard to access the jobs in their locality due to lack of transport. It has been realized that those youths with private means of transport easily get jobs compared to their counterparts with no private means of transport.
Some of the youths staying in the rural areas do not get the chance to undergo some sort of formal education due to the lack of such facilities in their localities unlike their counterparts in the urban areas. This makes them uncompetitive in the job market, with statistics casting a gloomy picture for them, both in the short and long term.
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Also in the rural areas, very few employment opportunities are available, and very few of these potential employers recruit the youths. This means the majority of the youths in the village remain idle and unemployed. Moreover, they lack the financial facilitation to start their own businesses where they can as well employ their colleagues.
There are also the high costs of accommodation in the urban center that some if not majority of the youths find difficult to meet during the job-seeking period. This makes those in the villages fear venturing into the towns to look for any formal employment. Moreover, those who have tried have ended up living in shanties.
The way forward for this just about to explode volcano is to improve on services that will empower the youths. This amongst others includes the introduction of Diploma qualifications and its emphasis at the workplace so that many more youths can get the after high school training, thereby becoming relevant in the market.