Dramatic rise in youth unemployment in Burnley

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YOUTH unemployment in Burnley has dramatically risen by nearly one third in a year.

Figures, which have been released by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) as part of their “All Together For a Future That Works” campaign, reveal that since May 2011 there has been a 29% increase in youth unemployment in the town.

Since May 2010, there has been a 15.8% rise.

According to the research, there has also been a rise in youth unemployment in Pendle, with figures rising by one fifth from last year and 15% since May 2010.

TUC are now hoping the figures will help them to tackle what they believe to be a “national crisis”.

Alan Manning, North West regional secretary for the TUC said: “These numbers are a further reminder of the consequences of the government’s austerity policies.

“Young people in Burnley are feeling the effects of these policies and they are paying a heavy price.

“Recent increases in the numbers of young NEETs (those Not in Employment, Education, or Training) and of unemployed graduates show that this is a crisis for all young people that must be tackled.

“We will be campaigning for a better response from the Government and regional coalition MP’s.”

For MP Gordon Birtwistle, youth unemployment is a result of a lack of training in jobs that are currently available. He believes that the government’s apprenticeship schemes and new Youth Contract will help young people to source jobs and find long-term employment.

He said: “Young people leaving school do not appear to have the skills for the jobs that are available.

“That is why the government is spending so much money on apprenticeships across the country.

“There is also the Youth Contract that starts this month, which will ensure every young person will be offered either a job or a training programme, to skill them up for the jobs that are available.

“Young people are studying for their degrees, and there is no job for them when they finish. They are skilled in jobs that don’t exist.

“What I think we should be doing is training young people to do jobs that actually last, and not just jobs that are there for 12 weeks or so.”