Young jobless numbers quadruple
The number of 16 to 24-year-olds claiming unemployment benefit has increased fourfold since before the recession, costing the UK economy up to £155 million a week, according to a new report.
Young people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance jumped from 5,840 in 2008 to more than 25,800 this year, a study by the Prince's Trust and RBS found.
The massive rise has left the UK with a much higher youth jobless rate than many other European countries, including Germany, Denmark, Austria, Norway and Holland.
Martina Milburn, chief executive of the Prince's Trust, said: "The annual cost for an individual jobseeker can be as much as £16,000. The argument for intervention and support is unquestionable."
Fionnuala Earley, of RBS, said: "As the UK struggles to clear record levels of national debt, we cannot afford to ignore the growing costs of youth disadvantage. This is not just a welfare burden - lost productivity and wasted potential directly affect the rate of economic growth in the UK.
"It's crucial for the economy that young people have the skills and confidence they need to find work and view entrepreneurship as a realistic option."
Young people with few qualifications have been particularly badly hit by the recession, said the report.