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Getting young people into work has been a major political and economic task that has posed a huge challenge for the Labour government. Recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures have shown some reduction in unemployment but the underlying figures reflect a society of 18-24 year olds that are rapidly becoming a lost generation. Leading employment group, The Best Connection, which specialises in Flexible Workforce Solutions, has revealed that few 18-24 olds are taking advantage of the benefits of temporary work placement as a springboard to permanent employment.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced in March the results of employment figures for the quarter November 2009 to January 2010. The International Labour Organisation (ILO), which collates labour market data, estimated 728,000 18-24 year olds were unemployed during this period - down 34,000 on the previous quarter but up 87,000 on the same quarter 2008.

18-24 year olds represent a very important group of people to The Best Connection. In 2009 we placed nearly eight thousand people in this age range. As a business, they bring youth and eagerness to progress to full time employment which is a service we are keen to facilitate for them. says Neil Yorke, Director, The Best Connection. Our recruitment figures, however, suggest that a surprising lack of young people are seeking temporary work as a potential route to permanent jobs.

Since 2007, 18-24 year olds have made up between 19-23% of The Best Connections workforce on an annual basis with little variation over the past three years. The contribution this age group has made has increased steadily from 12-16% over the same period in relation to the businesss turnover, reflecting market demand.

Although our research casts some favourable light on the value of young people to the economy, the official statistics tell us that there is still a huge pool of young talent that could be benefitting from temporary work as a first step to finding their feet and deciding what they might want to do in the long term. We are in danger of skipping a generation with nearly a million youngsters left behind with no skills or real work experience, added Yorke.
Temporary work has carried a second class tag for many years but is now becoming a more acceptable route to employment with guaranteed holidays, sick pay and strict adherence to regulations amongst the benefits available. According to the REC, it is now an essential part of the European economy with 80 per cent of agency workers in the EU filling jobs that would not have been created if agency work was not available.

In 2009 over 34,000 people were placed onto temporary contract work by The Best Connection.


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