Chancellor George Osborne today announced plans to help young people get the necessary skills to return to work.
The Government said it would create 24 new university technical colleges by 2014, providing technical training for 11-19 year olds. The money will come from agreements between the government and private businesses.
Mr Osborne said: “We will deal with youth unemployment, which has been on a steady rise.” He also said the new schemes would drive growth, creating “a more educated workforce, the most flexible in Europe”.
The Government also wants to create 40,000 new apprenticeships for young people who are out of work, and an extra 100,000 new work placements.
These announcements have been made against a backdrop of 9.4% unemployment for people aged 16-24, and not currently in education. The Chancellor has predicted that unemployment will continue to be high throughout 2011, before reaching a peak and then starting to fall sometime in 2012.
In addition to plans that will improve provide more teaching and training opportunities for young people, the Government says it “will provide £100 million of new capital funding in 2011-12 for science and innovation campuses.”
This is part of a new science drive, although it comes shortly after the announcement of a new tightening of education visas, which many believe will irreparably damage the ability of Britain to compete with other western nations in science and technology.
Normally for students and young people the budget means higher prices for cigarettes, alcohol and fuel. The 2011 budget has good news in these respects, with no change on most alcohol and tobacco duties, and a freeze on the fuel escalator inherited from the previous government.
However, while duty on weaker beers will be reduced, strong beers will cost more. And the price of hand rolled tobacco will increase, continuing efforts to make the nation stop smoking.