Young men facing the dole told to “think outside the box”

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Young men facing unemployment have been advised to ‘think outside the box’ and consider self-employment to avoid the dole queue.

Recent Figures from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) reveal one in five males aged between 18 and 24 are currently unemployed.

According to the Princes Trust, youth unemployment in the UK costs the economy £10 million a day and the Trust says that young people need to be given confidence and motivation to explore other options. A spokesperson told People with Voices:

“We run programmes that encourage young people to take responsibility for themselves, helping them build the life they choose rather than the one they’ve ended up with.

“We address this by giving practical and financial support to the young people who need it most. We help develop key skills, confidence and motivation, enabling young people to move into work, education or training.”

Twenty-four year old Mike Anderson, from South East London told People with Voices that being unemployed as a young man can have a drastic impact on confidence and self-esteem.

“I’ve been unemployed for nearly two years now and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. I’ve sent out loads of applications and have only been on a few interviews.

“It’s hard because it de-motivates you after a while, all the rejection and time wasted. Employers are not even willing to give you the opportunity to gain experience.”

A recent report published by the Higher Education Policy Institute showed that graduate unemployment has increased from 11.1 per cent at the end of 2008 to 14 per cent at the end of 2009.

The figures also reveal that male graduates are less likely to find employment than women graduates with 17.2 per cent of young men failing to find work after graduating compared with 11.2 per cent of women.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) encourages graduates to start their own business. The National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship which was launched in 2004, was set up by the department to provide support for graduates and students wishing to become self-employed.

At the beginning of 2010, The Institute of Public Policy and Research (IPPR) published analysis that revealed young black people have been hardest hit by the recession. Forty eight per cent of black people aged between 16 and 24 are unemployed, compared with 20 per cent of white people in the same age group.

Jerome Joseph, an ambitious 24 year old from North West London took poor employment prospects as challenge that has driven his motivation for success in his chosen career in the music industry.

Currently working towards his first solo album due to be released next year, Jerome  – aka “Jeromeo” originally started his music career as part of a group known as 101, which was formed between 2004 and 2005. The group was signed to music label Big Boss Entertainment which Jerome is currently signed to now as a solo artist following the group’s spilt in 2006.

He studied music technology at college, but says that education is not the only driver of success. He told People with Voices:

“I truly believe that you have to master your craft to be the best in your field. Therefore going to uni is a great way to do this as education brings about knowledge… but [it’s] only one side of reaching your career goals. You need to be adamant that you will do what it takes to make it.”

Jerome faced rejection on numerous occasions when trying to get signed to a record label but eventually his persistence paid off. Thinking outside the box may well be sound advice to young people in the current climate where jobs are in short supply and self-employment may be the only viable alternative.

His advice to other young people facing unemployment is to keep going, despite the disappointments:

“Don’t give up on your dreams – continue to stay focused and hit those targets.”

Yasmin Barracks

About Yasmin Barracks

Yasmin holds a BA in Journalism and is currently in the final year of an MA in Creative Writing. In addition to several years experience in journalism she also writes poetry and is in the processing of drafting her first novel.

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