If you are young and jobless what does 2012 have in store for you.
Youth unemployment in the UK increased from 575,000 in the first quarter of 2004 to 1,016,000 in the third quarter of 2011.
In 2012 unemployment on the whole will increase to 2.85million as jobs continue to be lost. It will reach its highest for 18 years and is set to peak at 2.9million in the first half of 2013.
We speak to young aspiring young Asians as to their hopes for 2012.
Shagufta Haseeb is a graduate. Barring the odd part-time job she has been unemployed for over 18 months. “The thing I find most demoralising is that people won’t even reply to your applications. I have sent hundreds of CV’s and filled in application after application but nothing ever comes of it.
“After a while you just think it is pointless. It becomes second nature not to expect a reply. You also think why did I go through all that education when at the end of it there is nothing?
“People say keep trying but it is not that easy. I have had two part-time jobs working in a supermarket.
“I have 2:1 BA honours. I’m not saying I’m not too good to be working in a supermarket but the worse thing is I am alongside people I know from school who didn’t try at all.
“They don’t say it but you know you can sense them saying, ’Look at you - you worked hard and did all your homework but you still ended up working here with the likes of me.’ “I’m not saying I’m better than them but what was the point of studying if you still end-up doing a menial job?’.
Moin Patel is 20 and has few qualifications. “I never tried at school and I do regret that. I have tried to enrol on to college but I have bills to pay.
“I’ve had the few jobs but mostly evening work and the pay was next to nothing. I’m not being harsh against people but some Asians do take advantage.
“They know for manual work they can get someone from abroad to do the job for a low wage. So what can you say? I live at home with my parents and they have been supportive. But there comes a time when you think I really need to make my own way in life.
“I have applied in many places. But there is so much competition. I feel I am just left behind.
“It is really tough out there for young people. I spend most of my day on the internet. What else is there to do?”
“I can’t see things getting any better in 2012.”
Uzma Sheikh of Bolton left school with good qualifications.
She went on to university but since leaving has had little luck.
“I never ever played the race card with anyone but if you have an Asian sounding name you are already at a disadvantage.
“I didn’t think like that at first but I have applied for jobs for which I have been more than suitable. But at the end of the day it is up to some man or woman sat behind a desk.
“And I think now some employers don’t want the hassle of employing someone Asian. They think it has too much baggage.
“If you are a Muslim girl it is so much tougher. Most of us can only get a job close to home and it has to be in a suitable environment.
“I’m not being picky but that is the reality.”
For someone like Tahir Moghul, of Preston being unemployed for over two years has become is something he has found very difficult to handle personally.
“In our community there is a still a big thing about what your son and daughter is doing.
“I don’t think it as big a deal for girls but for guys it can be tougher. I have applied in loads of places and got some interviews but got nothing back.
“I would like to think I am a good person and a hard worker and if given the chance I would do well. But you never get the chance.
“Also we have this big thing about being an entrepreneur in our community. That is biggest load of rubbish ever. Most of us just want a job to pay the bills.
He feels there is real lack of support from institutions within the community.
“I think the mosques should be more constructive. We have these huge mosques in our neighbourhoods which ignore issues like this. Which mosques do job clubs? Which mosques can help with youth unemployment?
“And then when you go to Jummah Namaz you get the imam telling you that you should not do this and that. They are completely cut off from reality.”