UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Is this a return to the failed YTS?

A new report, trailed in the press by David Miliband MP, highlights the costs to individuals and the economy of youth unemployment which ACEVO ( the report authors) estimate will cost the public purse at least £4.8bn in 2012 and potentially £28bn by 2022. These are eye watering figures but the loss of dignity and hope to the individual young unemployed is surely incalculable? http://dn56eaq5gsh5n.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/The-crisis-we-cannot-afford_Website-version.pdf

The drugs problems we still see today are often attributed by health professionals to the scourge of unemployment and hopelessness witnessed in the Thatcher years. Unemployment which the Tories described at the time as ‘collateral damage’ for their monetary policies.

History is surely repeating itself again. The public sector economy and the wider economy can’t be separated. They are co-dependent on each other. A flat public sector simply means the ability to grow jobs and training opportunities for young people will not happen and that in turn will stifle any growth in the private sector.

Rapid investment in economic growth is what we need and now – not a reinvention of the failed YTS schemes. The public sector is a huge economic lever for investment in housing, roads, schools and hospitals but it a lever which for whatever reason neither of the Miliband brothers seem interested in pulling.

Anna Rose