A generation of young people is growing up facing a future of mounting debt and unemployment.
Unemployment among 16-24 year olds is running at more than 15 percent and a new report for the Barnados charity reports that the rate among 16 and 17 year old school leavers could be as high as 28 percent.
“Everyone at my college is very worried about the job situation,” says Joe Doyle, an A-level student at Park Lane college in Leeds.
“I work in the catering industry as well as studying full time. I don’t feel my job is very secure anymore.
“Most people I know are already struggling to get by and things just keep getting worse.
“I work 16 hours a week on top of my studies. I know it’s having an impact on my education, but I need the money to get by.
“If you are working and studying all the time, you don’t have time for a social life – so the stress builds up.”
Like many other young people, Joe is facing an uncertain future.
“I would like to go to university, but I am really worried about how I would pay for it. I’d face thousands of pounds of debt and there might not even be any jobs at the end of it.
“We don’t need this stress. We should be able to concentrate on studying. My brother is 16. He is already saying maybe he should leave school and try to get a job, even though he really wants to go on to college.
“I’m the oldest of four. I hate to think what things will be like for the others if nothing changes.”
The protests coming up at the G20 meeting in London are a chance for people to come together to fight over jobs and to say the priorities of world leaders are wrong.
“We have to fight for justice,” says Joe. “People should get involved in trying to change things for the better.”
Strikes at 68 universities
Agency workers would be paid more
A racist Tory bill
Many people are already missing bill payments