To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the effect of raising the participation age on the level of youth unemployment.
23 February 2015
Raising the participation age was legislated for in 2008 with the aim of ensuring young people have the skills and qualifications they need to succeed in the workplace. The number of young people in work is increasing, up by over 100,000 in the last year and by over 125,000 since 2010. A higher participation age should help to cut youth unemployment in the short-term, as it means more young people are studying full-time, and in the longer term, by increasing the level of skills and qualifications of the workforce. Over the last year 16-17 year olds and 18-24 year olds have both seen significant falls in unemployment, with unemployment down both for those studying full-time and for those who have left full-time education. During 2014 overall youth unemployment recorded the largest annual fall on record and the youth claimant count has now fallen for 38 consecutive months.