“Jilted”? Do They Mean Us?

John Rentoul

jilted generation 225x300 Jilted? Do They Mean Us?The young are less likely than older people to agree with Labour’s criticism of the Government for abandoning them. Ed Miliband borrowed the phrase “jilted generation” (right) the other day, but young people themselves are (slightly) less likely to think of themselves that way.

In a special ComRes opinion poll in tomorrow’s Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror, we asked if people agreed or disagreed with the following statements:

This government’s economic policy threatens to leave a generation of young people jobless

Agree: 66%

Disagree: 19%

18-24 year olds are less likely to agree (64%) than the population as a whole. Social groups DE are more likely to agree (73%) than all other social groups and particularly social group AB (61%). People in Scotland are far more likely to agree (78%) than elsewhere.

Schools must do more to give young people the vocational skills they need to equip them for the workplace

Agree: 88%

Disagree: 5%

The government is doing a good job at helping young people into work

Agree: 13%

Disagree: 65%

A tax on bankers’ bonuses should be introduced and the proceeds used to fight youth unemployment

Agree: 75%

Disagree: 13%

Don’t know: 12%

Again, 18-24 year olds are the least likely to agree – only 64% do so.

It is easier for young people to get a job now than it was 20 years ago

Agree: 7%

Disagree: 81%

Again, 18-24 year-olds are out of line: they are the most likely to agree, although at 12% the proportion is still low. Similarly, only 68% of 18-24 year olds disagree. In Scotland, 91% of people disagree.

The government should focus more on getting young people into work than into university

Agree: 69%

Disagree: 16%

18-24 year olds are the least likely to agree – 55% compared to 80% of the 65+ age group. Social group C2 are the more likely to agree (74%) than other social groups.

ComRes interviewed 2,011 GB adults online on 8 and 9 June 2011. Full tables at ComRes.

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  • greggf

    In the sense that governments have promoted the idea that university, any university, is the key to employment, young people might feel “jilted” if this route proves to be fruitless. However the response to the next question about vocational skills (at schools) clearly shows an overwhelming majority, 88%, that consider the premise wrong.
    Since it was newLabour that peddled this premise Ed may have made another faux pas!

  • david

    One of the reasons behind these findings may be that older people look on the changes and identify the cuts as taking away the schemes and chances they used when young to help their careers. Younger people may not have been aware of them or were not expecting to use those schemes, so do not see the problem.

    (PS one of my favourite counterintuitive facts: During the Vietnam war, opinion polls found consistently that young people in the USA were the most supportive of American participation in the war.)

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