Nick Clegg, the UK's Deputy Prime Minister, today unveils a 'youth contract' scheme to help UK employers hire more young people and expand youth apprenticeships. He's concerned that over a million 16- to 24-year olds – almost one in five – are not in education, employment or training.
So am I. But another Gordon Brown-style government 'initiative' is not the way to get young people into work. We need to reduce the cost and the risk that employers face when taking on young people. We need to get rid of the minimum wage, which is pricing young people out of starter jobs, and radically cut back workplace regulation.
Employers are petrified about taking on young people, who may have little workplace experience and are therefore an unknown quantity, because they fear they cannot get rid of them if they do not work out. They would much rather have experienced employees. So it is no surprise that youth unemployment is so high.