Youth Unemployment

Introduction and Background to the Research Area

The United Kingdom’s youth unemployment refers to the rate of unemployment among those individuals who are aged between 18 and 25. These figures are often used as part of political discussions to measure the general position of the economy, however it is contended in this research paper that there is a lack of understanding in terms of the factors that lead to youth unemployment in the first place. By targeting the background reasons, greater improvements can be achieved. The latest statistics or the rate of unemployment among youths in London shows that there are several individuals under 25 years of age who are not employed, which currently stands at 20% (Glaser and Rice, 2008).

In this research paper it is suggested that there are substantial difference between migrants and non migrants within an area and that this could in fact offer a strong explanation as to why youth unemployment is so prevalent in modern society. Migration refers to the movement of people from one place to another specifically in search of some economic or social benefit. Migrants refer to the people who move from one place to another in search of better opportunities, while non-migrants are the local people. Politically there have been several heated debates on the topic of employment among migrant youths and non-migrant youths, which has necessitated this study to establish the attitude of both sets of groups towards employment.

For example in Hackney, London, the number of employed migrant youths is higher, compared to that of non-migrants. However, the percentage of the migrant youths who are employed is higher than that of non-migrants. This suggests that non-migrants have a higher positive attitude towards employment than non-migrants The high rate of unemployment among young people in the country and London, in particular, has forced some media personalities and politicians to term it the “lost generation” (Hackney, 2013)

This paper aims to look at the attitude of youths towards employment by comparing the migrants and non-migrants in Hackney, London. It is believed that the attitudes of these young individuals might be the major reason why there are high levels of unemployment among young people in this region and more generally elsewhere.

Aims & Objectives of the Research

The rate of unemployment among the youth population has been a problem that has raised several debates among politicians and media commentators. However, it has been argued that the attitudes of the youth in Hackney, London, have been the major reason behind the increasing rate. The main objective of this paper is to examine the reasoning or the suggestion that it is the attitudes of these young people towards employment that makes them miss the opportunities to land some. The research aims to achieve its overall objective by seeking the views of the youths in Hackney, London, towards employment.

Purpose of the Research

The outcome of the research will be based on the findings from the data collected through interviews, which will later be analysed. The outcome will depend on the method of data collection, which will involve interviews conducted with the youth in the area, in order to test the hypothesis. It is anticipated that the results of this study will help the community in understanding what its young people want, in terms of employment, in order to support them in their growth and career development. In addition, the result will also offer guidance to employers when allocating the available opportunities to either migrants or non-migrants.

Importance of the Research

This research is important in the field of both academic studies and career development, as its results will enable the students, their parents and teachers to understand how best to equip these youngsters by focusing the latter’s attention on their future employment opportunities. It will also help potential employers in selecting the right people for various positions in their companies or organisations.

Research Approach

It is suggested that the best method for collecting data in this qualitative study is through the use of interviews. The aim of the interview will be to have the respondents reflect on their feelings towards employment and past experiences, while also attempting to communicate freely with the interviewers in such a manner that both interviewer and interviewee come to a mutual agreement concerning the experiences’ meanings. The format of the interview could involve informal chats or discussions between the researcher and the respondents regarding their responses (Salter, 2010). If the respondents want to give further information or expand upon anything they have said, the interviewer will then ask additional questions and encourage the respondents to give further information or explanations. The interviewer will have to clarify that it will be an open process and that the interviewee is free to question or ask for more detailed explanations, talk in a manner with which they are comfortable, or even pause, if they wish to do so. The responses should not be evaluated as being right or wrong by the researcher. The researcher should make it clear to the respondents that they are free to make any comments or give any information that they wish. The focus of the interview will be on the participants and attempting to ascertain their attitudes, values, opinions, experiences and beliefs.


This research will take the form of structured interviews, which will be used as the method of data collection. The standardised interview or structured interview is typically used in quantitative research. The sample of the study will include 300 migrant youths into the country and 300 non-migrant youths. The migrant and non-migrant youths will be interviewed in order to establish their attitudes towards employment, in an attempt to confirm or disapprove the hypothesis that non-migrants have a negative attitude towards employment. The reason for interviewing the two sets of individuals is to find out whether the problem is confined to the migrant youth population, or both migrant and non-migrants. The structured interviews will take the form of questionnaires, which will be given to the interviewee by the interviewer who, in this case, is the researcher. The questions that will be used in the study will be literature informed. This means that the results will have been compiled and the questions will have a range of options. The formulation of the questions in the survey will be done by considering the existing literature. In addition, interviews will be used as the survey questions will actually be literature informed. The reliability and validity of the research will be measured by using the semi-structured interviews. Another significance or importance of the use of interviews is that they should help in obtaining additional information that may have been ignored by the current literature review.

Ethical Considerations

The safety and confidentiality of the respondents will be the major priority of this research. This will be undertaken by considering the benefit/analysis ration, and also through the use of information that is available to conduct the assessment and supervision of the study as it continues. The participants will be handled with the utmost care and they will be assured of the highest levels of confidentiality. Before any participant is involved in the research, their formal consent will be sought, in writing. The researchers will need to take care not to divulge any sensitive information that might have been provided by the respondents for their own safety. If there are any unpredicted findings in the study, as it progresses, the participants will be informed accordingly. The participants will be reassured that, in giving information, they will not be obliged to reveal any information which they chose not to do so.

Suggested Existing Literature

Several existing texts will be used as part of a detailed literature review to gain a background understanding of the issues facing the region and the general trends associated with unemployment. The following indicative initial bibliography is suggested as a starting point for the research project.

Blaikie, N. (2003). Analyzing quantitative data: From description to explanation. London: Sage.

Ford, M R 2009, The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future, Acculant Publishing.

Glaser, D, and Rice, K 2008, “Crime, Age and Employment.” American Sociological Review 24, no. 5: 679–686.

Greenberg, DF 2009, “The Dynamics of Oscillatory Punishment Processes.” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 68, no. 4: 643–651.

Hackney 2013 “Hackney Facts and Figures Leaflet” Available at:

Hochstetler, A, and Shover, N 2010, “Street Crime, Labor Surplus, and Criminal Punishment,” 1980–1990.” Social Problems 44, no. 3: 358–367.

International Labour Office. 2009, Bibliography of unemployment : covering the period 1920-1929, Geneve.

Isabel, T 2008, Bibliography of Unemployment and the Unemployed, Burt Franklin Publisher.

Moss, P, and Tilly, C 2009, Hiring in Urban Labor Markets: Shifting Labor Demands, Persistent Racial Differences. New York: Plenum.

Rifkin, Jeremy 2008, The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era, New York: Tarcher–G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Rusche, G, and Kirchheimer, O 2007, Punishment and Social Structure. New York: Columbia University Press. Reprint, New York: Russell and Russell.

Salter, H. 2010. Interview secrets. London: Collins.

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