Birmingham’s young people stuck in cycle of unemployment


New figures released by Birmingham Council show the city has the highest youth unemployment in the whole of the UK.

The unemployment rate for 18-24 year olds currently stands at 12.4% which compares to 7.3% for the rest of the UK. 

Manchester’s youth unemployment is 8.7% and Bristol is 4.8% whereas London rate stands at 6.5%.  

The statistics from March this year showed that youth unemployment has been on the rise since last year in Birmingham. 

Despite the Mayors’ offer of new job opportunities.  

Latest job opportunity tweet by Andy Street, Birmingham Mayor

Barrie Hodge, Head of Fundraising and Communications at St Basils  youth homelessness charity  says: “What we are seeing is many young people in insecure employment. 

“Young people are likely to be employed on zero-hour contracts and as such can find themselves unemployed very quickly.” 

In the last five months Mr Hodge reveals that there has been a rise of the young people in need of their services: “landlords increasing rents, the cost of living going up and ongoing family pressures.” 

He then talks about the impacts of losing a job and how: “it an be severe as for many,  the loss of income is just one aspect and it can impact on their sense of worth which can be catastrophic for a person’s mental and emotional well being.” 

Photo from Pexels By Ron Lach

Research from the Health Foundation shows that unemployment has consistently been found to have a negative impact on a range of health outcomes but is also thought to increase risk of future unemployment to become a self-perpetuating negative cycle.  

Catch22 Birmingham, a charity with the focus on helping young people  through unemployment have said: “young people who are the furthest from the job market are the ones who have  multiple social barriers such as housing, mental health and convictions. 

“These are the young people at risk of falling outside of the system and missing out on government support.” 

Catch22 runs an employability programme to help young people without jobs through tailored training on how to face social barriers, as well as offering direct support to employers.  


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