Q: How does Zak, a bright 17-year-old from Hackney, get on the jobs’ ladder? He can’t find work because he lacks experience. He is unable to gain experience because he cannot find work.
A: Zak should join a rapidly expanding social network called Team London. It is the Mayor of London’s volunteering programme, turbocharged by the London 2012 Games. It is not about volunteering simply because it is a good thing to do, but because we believe that volunteering can be the route to work that our young people need.
In January, when Boris Johnson launched the Telegraph’s Lend a Hand campaign, he got everyone thinking. With close to 20 per cent of 16- 24-year-olds unemployed, and estimates that the cost to society of Britain’s unemployment problem is more than £22 billion a year, this is a particular problem that, as taxpayers, businesses and parents, we all need to face. The jobs are out there. But how we do prepare our young people for those opportunities?