A full-blown economic recovery will not resolve the UK’s youth unemployment issue, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has found.

The latest report by the centre-left think tank shows that despite the fall in unemployment figures, there still remain 868,000 16 to 24-year-olds out-of-work.

The official UK unemployment figures released today revealed unemployment has fallen again to reach 6.4%.

Although the youth unemployment rate has fallen over the past year from 20.9% to 17.8%, the IPPR say youth unemployment is still an issue. Of those who remain unemployed, 247,000 have been looking for work for over a year.

Around 700,000 young people have never had a job.

There is a considerable mismatch between the jobs young people are training for and what is actually available, the report has revealed.

For example, 94,000 young people were trained in hair and beauty to fill just 18,000 jobs, while only 123,000 were trained in the construction and engineering sectors for an advertised 275,000 jobs.

Youth unemployment is lower in countries where vocational training through formal education is as well practised as the traditional academic route.

Tony Dolphin, IPPR chief economist, told the BBC:

“We can learn lots from countries like Germany and the Netherlands.

“A strong workplace-based vocational education and training system, with high employer involvement, contributes more to a smoother transition from education to work and a low rate of youth unemployment than anything else.”

Photo by Andrew Winter