THERE has been a sharp increase in the number of young jobseekers in Ashfield, new figures revealed this week.
According to statistics from the House of Commons Library, the number of people aged between 18 and 24 who are claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA) has increased by 24 per cent this year compared to last.
There are now 960 young people claiming JSA in Ashfield compared with 775 in August last year.
This is higher that the national increase of 13 per cent and higher than for the East Midlands, which stands at 17 per cent.
The figures are for the Ashfield constituency which includes Sutton, Kirkby and the surrounding areas, as well as Eastwood but not Hucknall.
Ashfield MP Gloria de Piero has now written to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to demand urgent action.
She said: “The Government must do more to tackle the growing problem of youth unemployment in Ashfield.
“There are nearly 1,000 young people looking for work.
“This figure is completely unacceptable and is a waste of potential. These young people are Ashfield’s future and I will continue to do all I can to help them by pressing the Government to take action.”
Jason Zadrozny, who is leader of the Liberal Democrats in Ashfield, said that the increase was ‘alarming’ and said that more must be done to signpost young people towards university and apprenticeships.
He said: “There is a general decline in manufacturing and our town centres are in a general decline.
“There are also a lot of young people who don’t really know what they want to do when they leave school.
“In Ashfield, we have had problems of second and third generation unemployment, but we have got fantastic links for travel and transport and we have got a very good workforce.”
But he said that the increase could be attributed to people moving from benefits such incapacity benefit onto JSA.