On youth unemployment: unemployment is even bleaker for youth with disabilities

European Youth Insights is a platform provided by the European Youth Forum and the European Sting, to allow young people to air their views on issues that matter to them. Written by Alan Borgars

Alan Borgars

Alan Borgars is a disability activist within the Green Party of England and Wales

In the six years since what has been termed as the ‘Great Recession’ struck due to the recklessness and greed of major banks and investment companies, youth unemployment has remained stubbornly high across much of Europe, especially the ‘PIIGS’ nations of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain but also in Britain, where an economic recovery is being disproved by falling wages, more people being forced into self-employment, more people taking part-time work despite wanting full-time work, and of course, workfare.

Young people with disabilities are finding it particularly hard in this recession, not only with employment but also independence and day-to-day survival and well-being. People on the autistic spectrum, like myself, are especially vulnerable to the effects of austerity-and often we are isolated and unable to turn to anyone for help when necessary and in good time. While the unemployment rate for young people in Britain (those under 25) is 20-25%, it is even higher still for young people with disabilities, who are also more likely than average to suffer from one or more mental health problems e.g. depression.

Given that Mahtma Gandhi famously once said that ‘you can judge a society by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens’, our government should be investing far more in disability services than it is at present-far from helping people with disabilities, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition is responsible for at least 20,000 premature deaths of people with disabilities and/or mental health problems eligible to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and other disability/out-of-work benefits, and many of them will have been young people just trying to find work when little or no work is available for them. Also, people with disabilities have been particularly hard done by workfare schemes at such places as Tesco and Poundland, as stories from the Boycott Workfare website (www.boycottworkfare.org) demonstrate. In other European nations, young people with disabilities have seen support reduced or lost altogether, which particularly in rural areas greatly impedes their opportunities for work and decent living, as shown by reports from Greece,Hungary and Portugal.

The greedy, selfish culture of free-market capitalism that has been heavily promoted by the European Union, especially since the Lisbon Treaty even in the wake of the financial crisis, bears much responsibility for this sorry state of affairs. Employers simply looking to increase politics often fail to see the potential within people with disabilities due to their lack of understanding about disability (or outright prejudice towards people with disabilities), and support to help people with disabilities find work has lost significant funding. Meanwhile, benefits are being slashed and in the UK, the Independent Living Fund (ILF) faces effective closure when it has been a lifeline for many young people with disabilities.

I believe a new narrative across Europe is needed to help our most vulnerable people achieve their full potential, and grassroots activism on diversity is also needed.

About the author

Alan is a disability activist within the Green Party of England and Wales

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

TTIP wins Merkel’s endorsement ahead of 2016 tough deadline

The Commission sees ‘moderate recovery’ but prospects deteriorate

Why the ECB had to clarify it caters for the entire Eurozone not just Germany?

EU accused of being too nice with Gazprom in the infamous antitrust case

EU-US to miss 2015 deadline and even lose Germany’s support in TTIP’s darkest week yet

Is a full course lunch, a new Commissioner and 2 million anti-TTIP citizens what you would call a “Fresh Start”?

ECB readies itself for extraordinary monetary measures defying Germany

Austerity lovers to put a break on Renzi’s growth vision for Europe? the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

More billions needed to help Eurozone recover; ECB sidesteps German objections about QE

One Day in Beijing

EU signs with Canada historic trade agreement, others to follow

GREXIT final wrap-up: nobody believed Aesop’s boy who cried wolf so many times

COP21 Breaking News: “There is an ecological debt that the world needs to pay back to Africa”, French President Francois Hollande promises 2 Billion euros by 2020 from Paris

Europe united in not supporting a US attack on Syria

Migration crisis: how big a security threat it is?

Does the world have strong enough institutions to handle risks like Trump and Brexit?

Commission’s feeble response to financial benchmarks fraud

Obama turns the G20 summit into warmongering platform

The Chinese spirit

Refugee crisis: Commission proposes a new plan urging EU countries to help Italy

Entrepreneurship’s key to success showcased by a serial young entrepreneur

On European immigration: Europe’s Missing Citizens

Does the Commission subsidise a forced labour scheme in Britain?

Doctors vs. Industry 4.0: who will win?

Is Data Privacy really safe seen through Commissioner’s PRISM?

European Business Summit 2014 : The Sting Report, Day II – Business, Politics and EBS 2015

ECB to support only banks not Peoples

Half of Eurozone in deflation expecting salvation from monetary measures

Quantitative easing: how Mario can tackle low inflation in Eurozone

France fails again the exams. Kindly requested to sit in on Commission’s class

Syria: Why did the US now take the Russian offer for a truce? What next?

Will Turkey abandon the refugee deal and risk losing a bonanza of money?

YO!FEST ENGAGES 8,000 YOUNG EUROPEANS IN FUTURE OF EU

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

Microsoft’s YouthSpark: a kiss of Life to European Youth from the European Parliament

The ASEAN Community sees the light: the genesis of a new powerful economic and political bloc and EU’s big opportunity

Is a deal over EU budget possible today?

EU: Turkey to shelter Syrian refugees and turn other immigrants back in return of €3 billion

The increasing drug prices in Europe

EU Commission: Once in every 20 beef meals you eat…horse probably with drugs in it

France and Poland to block David Cameron’s plans on immigration

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “Chinese economy has great potential, resilience and ample space for policy adjustment”, China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao reassures from Davos

Intel @ European Business Summit 2014: Better decisions now, the new business dashboard 

Me and China

GSMA Mobile 360: Connecting Cities, Connecting Lives, Connecting Europe

Banking Union: ECOFIN and Parliament ready to compromise

A very good morning in European markets

EU Commission challenges Berlin by proposing breakthrough legislation on banks

Advocate General ‘outlaws’ Data Retention Directive

Gloomy new statistics signify no end to Eurozone’s economic misery

Will Brexit shatter the EU or is it still too early to predict?

Why banks escape from competition rules but not pharmaceutical firms

Human rights in Brussels and in Beijing: a more balanced approach needed

The Americans are preparing for the next financial crisis

While EU Open Days 2013 discuss the 2020 strategy, Microsoft shares a glimpse of EU 2060

Paris agreed with Berlin over a loose and ineffective banking union

IMF’s Lagarde to Peoples of the world: You have to work more for the banks!

A few, or rather two, trade and economic alliances may rule our brave new world

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s