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In search of the lost generation

Youth unemployment is back in the news. But who is this recession really hitting hardest? Has it merely exposed deeper problems we’ve been ignoring for years?

By Fran Abrams   October 2009

Above: trainee chefs—but will the recession permanently damage young people’s prospects?

The class of 1979 at Marple Hall County High School in Stockport, in my recollection at least, divided neatly into two groups. By and large, those of us whose parents owned their own homes went on into the sixth form; the ones who lived in council housing mostly left to start work. Jobs seemed easy to come by. Nicky, the most academic of the latter bunch, did an electrical apprenticeship. Colin, bright and personable, trained as a chef; Danno as a painter and decorator. As the rest of us…

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