A fair deal for young people in Wales?

People under 34 in Britain currently face the worst life prospects in generations and young people in Wales are feeling the strain. Here's why...

Low pay


Wages have plummeted since the 2008 financial crisis. Between 2008 and 2013, those aged 16 to 24 lost 60 pence an hour on average, taking their average pay down to a measly £6.70 per hour.


For those aged 25 to 34, the average fall in hourly pay was £1.40—down to £10.60 an hour.

Zero hour contracts


In Wales, figures show that one in 30 employees in Wales in March 2016 were on a zero hour contract, one of the highest proportions in the UK.


People on zero hour contracts are not guaranteed a minimum number of work hours but must be available for work.


Such contracts are widely used by retailers, restaurants, leisure companies and hotels, and especially in the care sector. But increasingly public sector employers like councils and the health service are getting on the bandwagon.


That’s one in 30 workers in Wales with no job security, who are earning less than people in stable work and who, from week to week, do not know what they will have to live on.


people employed on zero-hour contracts in Wales (2016)

% of 19-24 year olds who are not in education, employment or training in Wales (2016)


Getting a foot on the ladder


For many young people, getting your first job can be tough. In Wales, nearly one in five young people are not in education, work or training. Those who do find work often find themselves getting a pretty unfair deal.


Whilst some employers may think they’re saving costs by employing young workers on poor conditions, they undoubtedly lead to low morale, higher staff turnover, and can be damaging to an employer’s reputation.


Offering fair employment to young workers has benefits for employers – fair working conditions and pay is rewarded with increased productivity and staff loyalty.


Employers who recognise trades unions have a happier and more productive workforce and those who are members of trades unions have better pay, conditions and prospects.