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The UK youth unemployment crisis is staggering, with 1.1 million 16- to 24-year-olds out of work.Outrage from young people only grew when the government froze the minimum wage for workers under 21 earlier this year.
While lawmakers have been taking steps toward solving the problem, groups in the UK like the Work and Pensions Select Committee do not believe it’s been enough.
Maybe that’s why the government — and Prime Minister David Cameron — decided to back Youth Enterprise Live 2012, a huge event this weekend that will connect young people to entrepreneurs, industry professionals and employment experts. We briefly caught up with the event’s co-founder, Stephen Farrow, who says 7,000 youth are registered to attend.
Farrow told us that he founded the event after seeing firsthand how young people are stereotyped in the workforce. “I worked on a huge show in the UK, a business startup show that has been running for 12 years,” he says, “but we alienated young people, which stopped them from coming to the event. One of my roles was literally to speak to colleges and universities and tell them that their students couldn’t register for the event. In hindsight that was a pretty bad thing because realistically, there are a strong amount of young entrepreneurs going into business in the UK.”
While this event is a great move on the government’s part, it’s just one step toward resolving the crisis.
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