Government must address ‘Youth’ and ‘Long Term’ unemployment says Labour PPC

laborus plan for jobsIt is good news that unemployment continues to fall, but this is the right time for the government now to address the high levels of youth unemployment, particularly long-term youth unemployment. It’s good that unemployment is falling from the very high levels that it had reached, but still much more needs to be done, particularly to get young people back to work


Cllr Mick Lerry said: “In the Bridgwater and West Somerset Constituency there has been a fall in unemployment for 18-24 year olds from 535 claimants to 520, and those within this group who have been unemployed over 6 months there has been a fall from 145 to 140. Twenty five year olds unemployed for over one year there has been a fall from 300 to 285 people, however for those in this category who have been unemployed for more than two years, there has been an increase from 105 people to that of 140 still unemployed”.


More focus is needed to bring unemployment down amongst young people and Labour has argued that there should be a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee for any young person out of work for more than a year, is guaranteed a job that they have to take, and similarly for people over the age of 25 who are out of work for two years, there will be a guaranteed job that they have to take.

With unemployment falling now is the time for the government and Ian Liddell-Grainger MP, to address this very real problem of youth unemployment and long-term unemployment.

Cllr Mick Lerry – Leader of the Labour Group on SDC

Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset

Mobile: 07775905080



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David Taylor
David Taylor
10 years ago

Although it is good to see employment rise it isn’t the employment many want. Equally, I can’t celebrate the unemployment figures are they are a complete fudge. A simple mathematical equation shows that not everybody who is off JSA gained a job. In fact, the only thing the CONDEMS are celebrating is a drop in JSA count. Labour needs to tackle this.

Cuts to benefit claimants: By making changes to the benefit system (ie who is eligible and who is not) the Government can magic away unemployment numbers by simply removing eligibility for benefits. If the person cannot claim, they are not classed as unemployed. The jobs simply aren’t there for 23 out of every 24 people who are chasing the one vacancy. So do we starve the other 23 and their families in the interim?

The most dignified manner to treat people in work is the same way as society should treat them when they are out of work, with fairness and understanding. In work, they should receive the minimum or better still the living wage that removes the need for a welfare top-up for the low paid. There should also be a rapid financial scheme for those who simply can’t get a job as there is insufficient for everyone, yet this Coalition Government thinks you can wait almost a week before you should claim. What feeds you in the meantime (apart from the food banks and Red Cross parcels that are distributed now on the UK streets)?

Training Schemes and Work Programmes: First, they excluded them from the unemployed figures, then they added them to the total workforce figures. This means that simply by recruiting people into a work programme, the Government has reduced the unemployment figures. It is misleading accountancy. By transferring those unemployed into work programmes, it keeps an average of 90,000 unemployed people under the age of 25 off the books, by making them ineligible to claim benefits.

Change of the school leaving age: In excess of 300,000 school leavers should join the job market or continue further education, but there wasn’t any this year, and there’ll be none next year, as the leaving age for children from education is now 18 years. At a time of record youth unemployment, their education has been extended without proper financial provision to do so.

Zero hours contracts means near zero employment: Employers are less likely to provide real jobs more than ever. As the market favours the employer, there has been an unprecedented month on month fall in wages through the entire tenure of the Coalition Government. We have seen the rise of ‘zero hour’ contracts. Almost unheard of a few years ago, more than a million UK workers are now under these contracts. Zero hours contracts are hitting young people the hardest, with swathes of them on such contracts between the ages 16-24. Zero hours contracts are more likely to be held by those without a degree and with a GCSE as their highest level of education. Non-UK nationals are more likely to be employed on such a contract than UK nationals.

The truth: None of this even takes into account those on sickness or disability welfare allowances who may re-enter the labour market. ATOS make sure of that. The Government is pressurising people into ever more exploitative work programmes in order to reduce unemployment figures by threatening withdrawal of social security for non-compliance. Corporations get free labour, the Government gets to massage the unemployment figures (eg workfare victims are counted as employed) and the unemployed get a raw deal.

The ONS figures show ‘phantom jobs’, such as unpaid work schemes, and how they have helped inflate the latest employment figures.

I can’t celebrate the fall in unemployment as it isn’t a fall in unemployment, it’s a fall in allowing people who need dignity, care and understanding to help them through dreadful austere times, impacted by the removal of their benefits.

Alan Bond
Alan Bond
10 years ago

We also need to stop raising the retirement age and start bringing it down again so that everyone retires at 60. The country can easily afford if we catch up with cameron’s tax dodging cronies who are costing the country upwards of £70 billion a year and we certainly can’t afford tax cuts for the better off – they are being paid more than ever so they should be paying more taxes than ever, but they aren’t. With older people blocking jobs, how are youngsters to gain employment and pay the taxes that the country needs to create a fair and just society ?

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