What are the challenges for disadvantaged young people seeking work?
Very active job search is important in the current UK labour market for disadvantaged young people – a “job in itself”.
New research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (Disadvantaged Young People Looking for Work: A job in itself? by Rebecca Tunstall, Ruth Lupton, Anne Green, Simon Watmough and Katie Bates) describes the difficulty of job searching for young people seeking low-skilled work. Studying three contrasting areas in England and Wales, it found that:
- Only 24 per cent of low-skilled vacancies found for the study offered full-time, daytime work. Over half of vacancies stating the pay offered minimum wage, and 78 per cent paid under £7 an hour, making it less likely that jobseekers could travel far for them.
- Employers also preferred local candidates for such jobs. So although jobseekers need to search beyond their immediate neighbourhood, policies demanding wider geographical searches will not necessarily get more people into work.
- Intense competition meant that some employers advertise vacancies online and close them as soon as they have sufficient applicants to select from. Not all jobseekers were aware how speedily they need to respond to vacancies, and those without internet access at home were at a disadvantage.
- Despite public perceptions that employers discriminate against residents from neighbourhoods with poor reputations, the study found no significant difference in positive response rates.
Full report (PDF 78pp)