Economic crisis hits young people

Economic crisis hits young people

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Unemployment in the Netherlands has gone up substantially, especially among young people, figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) show.

A year ago unemployment among young people was still around nine percent, but now it has risen to 11.4 percent. The number of registered jobseekers is steadily growing, but there are also many young people who have decided to study rather than sit at home.

When there is an economic crisis it is always the young people who are hit first. In the Netherlands it is especially young men working in industry, the building sector, ICT and trade are affected most. In the second quarter of this year unemployment in the male age group of 15 to 25 is almost 12 percent, considerably more than a year ago.

Michiel Vergeer, economist at Statistics Netherlands says: "They often have the lowest legal status. Young people have been employed shortest and are the first to be sent away. It isn’t easy for the newcomers either. They have to try to find a place in the labour market, but there are too few jobs."

Teeners by MIckey van der Stap

The young people who have decided to look for a job often end up at so-called ‘youth offices’ that act as a mediator in the job seeking process. They work together with employers, local authorities and schools.

Angela Velberg, project leader of the youth office in Utrecht: "It's mainly young people with vocational education (MBO), who in the past had no difficulties finding work. Now it takes them much longer. In some lines of business and occupational groups there just won’t be any work in the coming months."

Ending up at home demotivated

The government has already spent  EUR 500 million on a plan to fight youth unemployment. A lot of money has gone towards internships in companies and othermeasures to make sure young people continue working on their future.

"We try to help them the best we can. We offer trainings and courses. And we provide refresher courses to increase their chances on the labour market. All of this to prevent that they end up at home demotivated," says Velberg.

As there aren’t any chances to find work, many young people decide to continue studying. The telephone has not stopped ringing at the universities and local training centres.

Teenagers by kamshots

Young people are allowed to register until 1 October. The question is whether there will be enough teachers to give lessons to all these extra students. Some of them will have to wait a bit before they have really found a place.

But there is a ray of hope for the young unemployed. According to Statistics Netherlands, youth unemployment figures will go down soon, once the economy starts growing.

Klaas den Tek
Radio Netherlands


 Photos credit: MIckey van der Stap/Wikimedia; kamshots; kr4gin

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