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Last updated: 13.10.11

E-learning 'could help improve skills for the unemployed'

As reports surface about the instability of the job market for young people, employment seekers could turn to e-learning to boost their skills.

The number of young people struggling to find work has topped an estimated one million as employers are often cutting back and outsourcing work to other companies to save money, the Independent reports. According to latest figures, half of 16 to 24-year-olds are classed as economically inactive - meaning they are out of work and not in education.

Online learning courses could help those that are unemployed keep busy as well as build up their qualifications database to make themselves more appealing to potential employers. John Walker, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "It is clear that, with youth unemployment at a record high, the government's growth strategy is not working."

David Cameron told the House of Commons recently that his government must do more to stimulate the employment and economic growth, but that it must also stick to its plans to clear the UK's £170 billion deficit. It is estimated that Mr Cameron's programme of cost-cutting will lead to a further 600,000 public sector jobs being lost over the next four years.

Fred Turok, founder of Transforming a Generation, commented: "Young people today are faced with a stagnant jobs market where vacancies are sparse. It doesn't mean there are no jobs to be had, but it means competition is more fierce than ever." He added that a big issue in today's cost-conscious climate is that businesses are more inclined to employ experienced workers, who need less time to train and can hit the ground running because training can often cost valuable resources.

The jobless rate of 8.1 per cent in Britain is the highest since 1996, with figures from between June and August showing that 1,000 jobs were being lost every day.