Young unemployed 'out of work for over two years'

Young people in the UK spend nearly two-and-a-half years out of work, one of the highest rates amongst developed countries, according to new OECD research.

The organisation’s Andreas Schleicher said many young people have “given up, more or less” and warned that the "biggest challenge" to the UK was to help those youngsters who do not have decent qualifications.

The figures, for 2011, show that people in the UK aged 15 to 29 expected to spend 2.3 years on average either unemployed or out of the labour force entirely – higher than the Netherlands (1.1 years), Iceland (1.2 years), Norway (1.3 years), Australia (1.7 years) and Germany (1.7 years).