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Page last updated at 06:52 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 07:52 UK
Teen jobs hit hardest by slump

By Anthony Baxter
Revealed presenter

Venessa has tried hard to get a job, but so far hasn't had any luck

With unemployment rising and the number of job vacancies at its lowest in years, it doesn't take an expert to point out that finding work isn't easy at the moment.

And it's young people who are suffering the most. More than 30% of the UK's 16 to 18-year-olds are currently unemployed.

BBC Two show Revealed has been talking to some of those who are struggling to find work.

Venessa, 18, has been unemployed for just under a year. She lost her last job after badly breaking her leg.

She lives on her own, and says she desperately needs to find work to pay her bills.

"I've got experience in retail and I do a lot of volunteering as well, that's all on my CV, so I am quite surprised that no one has really taken the offer."

Paying bills

Venessa says she's spent hours handing out CVs, filling out applications, and has even signed up to a job agency, but she says she's been shocked at how hard it is to find work at the moment.

"Being able to work would enable me to buy things, it's about having my money, knowing I can pay the bills, but then have some spare.

"There've been five films I've wanted to watch this year already, and I can't. I can't afford it."

Venessa is not alone in her search for a job. Unemployment is higher among 16 to 18-year-olds than any other age group.

There are more than 110,000 teenagers out of work right now in the UK.

University, it's not a bad thing to do, I just think if you want to start a business, it's better to just get started
Chelsey, 18

Businesses that have traditionally employed the most young people, shops and cafes, have been hard hit by the recession - just think of companies like Woolworths.

In January this year, the number of estimated job vacancies in the UK was around 400,000, the lowest number in years.

At the same time, the number of people out of work is at its highest in years - more than two million people are currently unemployed.

Experts say that figure is likely to be closer to three million by Christmas.

"It's much more difficult because you have to compete with a lot more people now," says Venessa.

New jobs

"A lot of people are worse off than me. They've got kids to look after, so a lot of them tend to get picked before me."

Despite the recession, some businesses, like supermarkets are still thriving. Sainsbury's alone says it's creating about 50,000 new positions.

But experts say the jobs slump does appear to be affecting the number of people considering higher education, perhaps as a way to sit out the recession.

Chelsey took a chance and started her own business

In the last 12 months, the number of young people choosing to go into full time education has risen by 6%.

But Chelsey, 18, from Northumberland decided university wasn't for her.

After losing her job at a cafe, she took a gamble. Borrowing £2,000 from her parents, she bought the place herself with some mates, and is now running her own business.

"It is scary, but I like the challenge," she says.

"If you don't take the risk you'll never know. University, it's not a bad thing to do, I just think if you want to start a business, it's better to just get started."

Experts say that although getting a job - particularly a part-time one - is tough at the moment, the picture will improve over time.

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills says Britain's ageing population means we can expect to see a huge rise in the number of people working in the care industry in the future, and that the retail, catering and financial industries are also likely to pick up again, employing more people.

Revealed... Where are all the jobs? Is on BBC Two, Saturday 6 June, at 1.40pm.

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