Changes in the job prospects of young Scots were highlighted by a think-tank this week."Painfully clear" lessons have been learnt, the Scotland Institute said in a report, citing an explosion of "short-term, part-time, poorly paid" work in recent decades.
Research director Dr Roger Cook said youth unemployment was a well-known problem, pegged today at around one in five young people compared with 16 per cent in 1992.
But the nature of employment was equally dire - and made deregulation's consequences "painfully clear."
Dr Cook said: "In 1992 youth employment could be characterised as consisting of full-time, relatively well-paid work with career prospects."
But today "youth employment is characterised by short-term, part-time, poorly paid work and with much more limited" future prospects.
"In effect and by deliberate choice we have confined the bulk of our young people to jobs that may allow them to earn enough to survive but often little prospect of long-term economic security," he said.
Solidarity General Secretary, Patrick Harrington, said: "This report draws attention to the fact that high youth unemployment is just part of the problem. The nature of the work being offered to young people is poor and offers little opportunity for progression. I believe that the market alone will not deliver what the people need in terms of job security, prospects for development and a decent quality of life. That is why I favour a more central and proactive role for the State to ensure that the market serves the interests of the community and delivers what they need."