'Huge inequalities' in life chances depending on location

Jobcentre PlusThe chances of young people finding a job or going to university depend on where they were born, revealing "huge inequalities" across the country, according to new research.

A study for the Nominet Trust charity revealed a "postcode lottery" for the life chances of youngsters.

The data showed that young people in Erdington, Birmingham, were more than three times as likely to be unemployed as youngsters in South Kensington, London.

Teenagers in Harrogate were seven times as likely to go to an elite university than their counterparts in Bradford, just 20 miles away, said the report, published ahead of new unemployment figures.

Annika Small, chief executive of the Nominet Trust, said: "The powerful data proves what we've known for a long time - the postcode lottery is not a myth but in fact a harsh and very bleak reality for Britain's young people.

"We'd urge policy makers, youth workers and other professionals working with young people to take note of the fact that our current system is failing today's youth, and that a fresh approach is required."

Professor Danny Dorling of the University of Sheffield, one of the researchers behind the report, said: "There are huge inequalities between young peoples' life chances that increasingly depend on where they are born. These inequalities are currently growing."

Meanwhile, the CBI called for a number of measures to help improve the Government's Work Programme, including moves to encourage self employment through the scheme.

The business group said access to the programme should be made more straightforward, while there should be increased awareness among employers.

Katja Hall, the CBI's chief policy director, said: "Although the fundamentals of the Work Programme are strong, targeted action is needed to ensure it fulfils its potential. It has faced challenges over the last year, but we cannot let it be buffeted by events or become a target for political point scoring."
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