Transport costs ‘harming access to youth employment’

Youngsters are struggling to cope with the transport costs associated with work and education.

Rising transport costs are making it increasingly difficult for youngsters to participate in training and work schemes.

This is according to research by the Work Foundation, which noted that many individuals are unable to enter or stay in employment as a result of the high charges. This problem is particularly prevalent in rural areas, as they have to deal with inadequate public transport routes.

One way of dealing with this problem would be to introduce flexible working arrangements, as this means more young adults could complete tasks from home. This would not only reduce their reliance on public transport, but also give them greater freedom to work to a pattern that suits them.

Another way around this problem is to use teleconferencing to host meetings. This eliminates the cost and inconvenience of travelling by car to meetings, while they can also be scheduled with little or no notice.

For many businesses, it is a no-brainer to make use of this technology, as it is a much more cost-effective use of resources than holding all meetings in the office.

Katy Jones, lead author of the report Transport Barriers to Youth Employment, said: "Nearly one million young people are unemployed and for many lack of affordable transport is a key barrier to finding work. Yet central government policy does little to address this.

"To keep support in line with participation in education and training, it should also extend transport assistance up until the age of 18, in line with planned increases in the participation age."

Co-author Neil Lee stated local authorities have a big role to play in addressing this problem, as it is up to them to provide stable, long-term support for their communities.

The Learning and Skills Improvement Service is seeking to improve standards and achievement in the further education and skills sector in England. The sector-led body was formed to accelerate quality improvement and increase participation and has self-improvement at its heart.

Buzz Conferencing offers teleconference meeting