CBI: Short-term measures needed urgently

Katja Hall, chief policy director of the CBI, comments on Department for Education figures which show that 1.16 million 16- to 24-year-olds were not in education, employment or training in the third quarter of 2011:

"It is alarming that there are so many 16 to 24-year-olds not in education, employment, or training, and today's figures show the vast scale of the problem we need to overcome to avoid a lost generation of young people.

"The CBI wants to see a 'Young Britain Credit' to give employers £1,500 for taking on an unemployed 16 to 24-year-old to get more young people into work.

"We also want the government to freeze the national minimum wage youth rate and to introduce a one-year apprenticeship scheme from January.

"Only a matter of days away from the autumn statement, we urgently need the government to come up with short-term measures to spur businesses growth and get firms taking on more young people.

"Looking further ahead, the government must do more to address the underlying problems that lead to NEETs in the first place, such as focusing on helping workless communities and embedding employability skills in school teaching."