Policy Performance and Evaluation: United Kingdom

Kari Hadjivassiliou, Arianna Tassinari, Stefan Speckesser, Sam Swift, Christine Bertram

    Research output: Working paper


    Youth unemployment in the UK presently stands at 16.1%, which compares favourably with the EU28 average of 21.5%. Moreover, the UK’s youth unemployment has been consistently below the EU average. Yet, this relatively better performance masks structural and institutional characteristics which have an adverse impact on young people’s school-to-work (STW) transitions. Compared to other Member States, the UK is characterised by fast but unstable STW transitions. The vast majority (80%) of young people flow off Jobseeker’s Allowance within six months, but take longer to move to permanent employment. Indeed, STW transitions in the UK have become lengthier and more uncertain. A key feature has been the tendency of young people to stay in education as opposed to entering employment at an earlier age. The number of people aged 16-24 in full-time education has more than doubled over the last 30 years. The UK performs well above the EU average with regard to both tertiary attainment and completion rates. Compared to other Member States, qualifications and skills are more critical for smooth labour market entry, with the unemployment rate of low-skilled 15-24 year-olds being 37.2% (vs. a 30.3% EU average). Conversely, the employment rate of recent graduates from at least upper secondary education is well above the EU average. However, both horizontal and vertical skills mismatch is rather high even for recent graduates. As a result, there is significant underemployment among young people.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherCROME, University of Brighton, Brighton
    Number of pages56
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Publication series

    NameSTYLE Working Papers
    PublisherCROME, University of Brighton


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