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Hannah Stratford


Occupational Psychologist And Head of Business Psychology

Read more about Hannah Stratford

Blog: The kids aren’t alright


The riots in London and other cities this week brought the issue of youth unemployment into sharp focus. Roughly 20% of 16-24 year-olds are currently unemployed. This figure climbs sharply for those living in some inner-city areas.

Many observers feel more should be done to create job opportunities for young people. But would it have made a difference this week? ETS polled 50 senior HR professionals on whether more effective government action on youth unemployment could’ve prevented the riots. Opinion was divided: 49% of respondents said no and 39% said yes.

Nobody can say with certainty that more employment opportunities for young people could’ve averted the rioting and looting. But equally, the lack of prospects and employment opportunities must have an impact on their self-esteem and their understanding of- and relationship to- broader society.
What’s the solution? Is the onus solely on the government to find new ways to get young people into employment? Should large employers be doing more to support the communities they work within and create more opportunities, training schemes and apprenticeships?
It seems answers are in short supply this week. But this is definitely an issue that needs urgent attention. Entry level jobs are already in short supply and with the government’s austerity measures yet to really impact, things could get worse before they get better.

Hannah Stratford is an occupational psychologist and Head of Business Psychology at HR consultancy, ETS.

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2 Responses

  1. More interest

    Hopefully you’d get a bit more interest now as it’s truly become everyone’s concern – if it wasn’t in a social responsibility kind of sense already.

  2. Not an HR problem?

    About 18 months ago I was so concerned by the rising number of young "neets" that I posted a question on the CIPD communities asking what members felt they could do to ease the situation. As I’m self-employed myself, I was hoping to start a discussion about how those of us in corporate jobs, and those of us who freelance, could get involved. The number of responses to my query was in single figures, and all but one said it was not part of their job to concern themselves with this sort of issue!

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Hannah Stratford

Occupational Psychologist And Head of Business Psychology

Read more from Hannah Stratford

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