MP’s call to action over youth unemployment

Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero has said that more needs to be done to help young people, despite figures showing a fall in unemployment in the area.
MP Gloria De PieroMP Gloria De Piero
MP Gloria De Piero

The latest stats released by the Office for National Statistics show a slight drop in unemployment in Ashfield - with 89 fewer people claiming Job Seekers Allowance during April that in March, when 2,034 were unemployed.

However, the Ashfield MP told Chad that more than a quarter (585) of those signing on at the Job Centre last month were young people aged 18-24 years old, after the figures were released on 14th May.

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The figures for long-term youth unemployment - youngsters out of work for longer than a year - are still up by 40 per cent from the May 2010 ~General Election, Ms De Piero said.

Ashfield recently saw the number of people out of work rise for three consecutive months, while the number of adults aged 25 and over who have been unemployed for longer than two years is also up by 350 per cent on 2010.

“It’s always good news when unemployment goes down but the figures show much more still needs to be done to tackle youth and long-term unemployment in our area,” she said.

“The Government should introduce Labour’s Compulsory Jobs Guarantee to get young people off benefits and into work and that would immediately help 105 youngsters in Ashfield and 270 adults aged 25 and over.”

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The Compulsory Jobs Guarantee is an opposition proposal which would force young people to take a ‘starter job’ after 12 months of unemployment, or face losing benefits. The same would apply to people aged 25 and over after two-years of unemployment.

Ms De Piero added that a future Labour Government would also increase the minimum wage and freeze utility bills.

She said: “Thousands of people in work are struggling to make ends meet because of the Government’s failure to make work pay and tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

“A Labour Government would tackle the cost-of-living crisis by freezing gas and electricity bills, and we’ll make work pay by restoring the value of the national minimum wage and get more employers to pay a living wage.”