“You’re less likely to get a job if you’re 16 or 17 than you are if you’re 50.”

13 Jun 2014

Fiona Blacke, CEO of the National Youth Agency, has responded to newly announced Government measures to support older people in work, which they say could boost the economy by billions.

Talking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain she said, “I have no objection to older people carrying on working. I think the issue is that if government are going to put investment into schemes for employability then it should be for young people.

“And actually, the economic argument for focusing on young people is really strong. The unemployment rate for over 50s is a quarter of that of 18 – 24 year olds. The cost of young people not being in employment is £4.9 billion plus £10.9 billion costs in lost productivity – that equates to 15% of the NHS budget a year. So I don’t understand the economics behind this.

“You’re much less likely to get a job if you’re 16 or 17, than you are if you’re 50, to be honest. Young people need all the help they can get right now, and that’s where government should put its investment.

“With an election in less than year, I’d like to see the parties pledge to end youth unemployment and use it as a key driver for economic growth and prosperity”, she added.

Watch Fiona on Good Morning Britain