Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

A new generation of unemployed

Wales has the highest increase in NEETs over the last decade. Photo: ITV News Wales

The proportion of NEETS – that’s youngsters not working, training or studying - is rising faster here than anywhere else in the UK. So is it a short-term trend or – as some claim – a long-term structural issue rooted in generations of unemployment, a widespread lack of motivation and social disengagement?

18 year old Laura has been struggling to find work. Credit: ITV News Wales

I couldn’t be bothered to get up, to go to school, for nothing. In school it was more of a scene to be doing drugs than it was to be doing homework. That’s how it was, just plain and simple. If you weren’t doing drugs, you were just no one really

– Laura, 18, Cardiff

Howard Williamson has been researching the issue of NEETs in Wales since the 1980s when, as a youth worker, he became concerned about young people dropping out of the system.

Dr Howard Williamson has been researching the issue of NEETs in Wales since the 1980s Credit: ITV Wales News

Those young people themselves often don’t display a great deal of motivation to wanting work. I don’t believe in this notion that they lack ambition. I think they’re probably a part of what’s known as discouraged workers; in that they’ve grown up in cultures where expectations are low because of the real experience of people around them has been that they haven’t had the opportunities that previous generations have had.

– Dr. Howard Williamson, Professor of European Youth Policy, University of Glamorgan

Paul Marshallsea established the Dowlais Engine House youth club after finding his 14-year-old son taking drugs over a decade ago. He believes unemployment and social boredom is at the heart of the NEET problem.

Paul Marshallsea established the Dowlais Engine House youth club after finding his 14-year-old son taking drugs over a decade ago Credit: ITV News Wales

This government is going to have a whole generation that are not going to work and it’s not the young people’s fault. What we’re doing works, it’s just the Government have got to get their head around it. Stop talking and start doing

– Paul Marshallsea, Dowlais Engine House youth club

There is a whole range of initiatives designed to ease the NEET burden in Wales, including a pupil mentoring scheme run by Business in the Community, a scheme for long-term unemployed young people run by Grow Enterprise Wales, the Young Wales training scheme and Careers Wales, which is helping Laura look for work.

I actually want to be the one who can say “well I tried and I’ve done it and I’ve succeeded in life”. I don’t want look back on my life and think I’ve just wasted my life doing nothing

– Laura, 18, Cardiff

WALES THIS WEEK – Am I Bothered? is onITV1 tonight (Tuesday) after News At Ten