ERIC Identifier: ED260362
Publication Date: 1984-00-00
Author: LeRoy, Barbara, Comp.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse
on Counseling and Personnel Services Ann Arbor MI.
Unemployed Youth: Counseling Issues. In Brief: An Information
Digest from ERIC/CAPS.
Unemployment among young people is a serious and persistent problem; more
than 20% of youths aged 16 to 19 are currently unemployed. Unemployment rates
rise to more than 50% among members of minority groups, high school dropouts,
and youths in economically disadvantaged areas.
REASONS FOR YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
Youth unemployment is largely determined by the uncertainty of products,
resources, and social influences. Individual factors associated with
unemployment include academic, mechanical, and employability skill deficits; and
race, age, and sex discrimination.
Social and industrial factors include the size of the youth population,
shortage of job opportunities, technological revolutions in the marketplace,
unequal distribution between jobs and available young workers, legislative
disincentives, and poor economic conditions. Youths are negatively affected by
all types of unemployment--structural, seasonal, cyclical, and frictional.
EFFECTS OF YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
Unemployment has destabilizing consequences both for society and for the
individual. Youth unemployment affects the Gross National Product through lost
production, the effect on ecomomic output, and the large sums spent on social
Costs to the individual include lost earnings, lost interest in future
employment efforts, loss of credibility in the workplace, and psychological
problems, including mental stress, despair, alienation, family pathology, and
suicide. Secondary personal costs include those associated with the effects of
unproductive time: crime, vandalism, and drug and alcohol abuse, for example.
COUNSELOR ROLE: SCHOOL-TO-WORK TRANSITIONS
Although young people rely more on familial and social resources for job
information and opportunities, the school counselor can take an active role in
helping youth acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills which comprise both
general and specific employablility.
General employability refers to the skills necessary for gaining and
maintaining a job (work behaviors, social development, physical endurance, and
academic skills). Specific employability relates to keeping a job by being able
to perform specific tasks on that job.
The counselor can also serve as a community liaison, program and curriculum
innovator and developer, youth advocate, family interventionist, and value and
needs facilitator for young people in transition. The school curriculum has a
crucial role in developing students' decisionmaking skills by offering
competency-based, experiential learning modules on career orientation, personal
inventory taking, resume production, and job seeking campaigns.
Successful adjustment to work is a matter of sequentially adjusting to job
performance, organization, interpersonal relations, responsibility, and affect.
For youths, work entry problems cluster around job performance, access to the
job, and managing a career.
Effective counseling services address the pre-transition problems of work
selection and co-worker and family issues; the transition diffulties of
adjusting to the work site; and the post-transition concerns about the role,
status, lifestyle versus job requirements, and community adjustments.
Intervention strategies have traditionally fallen into five program
categories: school, government, industry, community, and generic economic
schemes. School-based programs have attempted to provide on-the-job-training
experiences in combination with classroom learning.
Government-sponsored programs, such as the Manpower Development and Training
Act, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, the Youth Employment and
Demonstration Projects Act, and the Job Training Partnership Act, have attempted
to provide opportunities and incentives to the marketplace.
Industry-initiated programs such as those at IBM and General Electric have
provided job training within industry for those youths who meet their program
criteria. Community programs have attempted to extend and fill the gaps left by
government-sponsored programs. Economic schemes, such as alterations in the
minimum wage or sub-minimum wage programs, have attempted to alleviate youth
unemployment through financial incentives to potential employers.
To facilitate employment, collaborative efforts and structures to match
employer needs with employee needs and skills must be undertaken. Effective
programs require a dual, yet integrated focus:
--The role of various mechanisms and facilities needs to be expanded through
apprenticeship training, mandatory occupational skill training, post-secondary
technical schools, sheltered enclaves within industry, and further monetary
incentives to employers
--Industry and education should form collaborative planning boards to expand
vocational opportunities and innovations, to develop work-life curricula, to add
vocational placement personnel to school-based counseling programs, and to
provide readily accessible, online occupational information to young people
FOR MORE INFORMATION
American Personnel and Guidance Association. CAREER GUIDANCE: ROLE AND
FUNCTIONS OF COUNSELING AND GUIDANCE PRACTITIONERS IN CAREER EDUCATION.
Washington, D.C.: American Personnel and Guidance Association, 1975.
Barton, P. E., B. S. Frazer. BETWEEN TWO WORLDS: YOUTH TRANSITION FROM SCHOOL
TO WORK. RESEARCH ON YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND EMPLOYABILITY DEVELOPMENT. Washington,
D.C.: National Institute for Work and Learning. ED 203 058.
Butler, E. P., and others. FOCUSING BETTER ON YOUTH: LEGISLATIVE
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE FIELD. A REPORT FROM THE NATIONAL YOUTH PRACTITIONER'S
NETWORK. Washington, D.C.: Department of Labor. ED 213 989.
Ford Foundation. NOT WORKING: UNSKILLED YOUTH AND DISPLACED ADULTS. A WORKING
PAPER. New York: Ford Foundation, 1984. ED 236 332.
Herr, E. L., T. E. Long. COUNSELING YOUTH FOR EMPLOYABILITY: UNLEASHING THE
POTENTIAL. Ann Arbor: ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Personnel Services,
Levin, H. M. "Youth Unemployment and its Education Consequences. EDUCATIONAL
EVALUATION AND POLICY ANALYSIS 5 (2):231-247.
Passmore, D. L. BARRIERS TO YOUTH EMPLOYMENT University Park: Pennsylvania
State University, 1982. ED 218 503.
United States Congress. EFFECTS OF ADMINISTRATION'S FISCAL YEAR 1984 BUDGET
ON TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing
Office, 1984. ED 233 181.
Vice President's Task Force on Youth Employment. A SUMMARY OF THE VICE
PRESIDENT'S TASK FORCE ON YOUTH EMPLOYMENT. Washington, D.C.: Vice President's
Task Force on Youth Employment, 1980. ED 194 248.