'Help young people get the skills employers want'
Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group, comments on the latest UK unemployment statistics
18 February 2015
The latest employment statistics from the Office for National Statistics show that employment continued to rise between October and December 2014. 73.2% of people aged 16-64 were in work during this period, up from 72% the previous year.
Responding to the announcement, Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group, said:
'It’s encouraging that more people are employed, but it seems premature to celebrate – especially when youth unemployment is still so high. Countless young people are caught in the vicious cycle of trying to find work to gain experience, but needing experience to find work.
'That’s why we need programmes that help young people get the skills employers want. A great example is apprenticeships, and it’s no wonder that politicians are promising millions more in the run-up to the election. Efforts to expand access to them is certainly welcome, but apprenticeships are only one part of the solution.
'We need to see long-term planning that links skills to economic forecasts, greater coherence between central and local government and more stability in the skills and employment system. Our young people’s futures depend on it.'