Record high unemployment top of the agenda at TUC youth conference

date: 22 March 2012

embargo: 00.01hrs Saturday 24 March 2012

With almost one in five (19.3 per cent) young people now out of work in some parts of the UK, record high youth unemployment will be top of the agenda at the TUC Young Members' Conference which begins today (Saturday).

Last month's unemployment figures show that 19.3 per cent of young people in Blaenau Gwent are currently unable to find work, and in Hartlepool, Merthyr Tydfil, Sandwell and Redcar and Cleveland - all also badly hit by the youth unemployment crisis - between 16 and 17 per cent of youngsters are without jobs.

The overuse of temporary contracts, limited opportunities for young people in education and work and the risk of homelessness for the UK's unemployed youngsters will also be discussed at the conference at TUC headquarters in central London this weekend.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Now is certainly not the time to be young and looking for a job, with figures showing more than one million people under 24 around the UK are unable to find work.

'The TUC's young members are rightly concerned about the future of their generation. With a strong recovery still failing to take hold, the bleak prospects facing young jobseekers will be with us for some considerable time to come.

'With the toxic combination of increasing unemployment, high tuition fees and inadequate government support for those out of work, our unemployed young people are being given no option but to join the back of the dole queue.'

Chair of the TUC Young Members Forum Fern McCaffrey said: 'With youth unemployment now hitting a million the government's decision to axe the Future Jobs Fund is looking increasingly foolish, and ministers' replacement offer of cut-price work experience is woefully inadequate.

'Young people represent our future economic hopes and getting them into work should be the government's top priority. The Prime Minister should guarantee a job or high-quality training to any young person out of work for six months or more to prevent losing a generation to joblessness and under achievement.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- The TUC Young Members' Conference is from 9.30am-4.30pm on Saturday 24 March and 9am-4pm on Sunday 25 March at Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS. Speakers at the conference include NUS President Liam Burns and TUC Head of Organisation and Services Department Paul Nowak.

- The motions being discussed at the conference are available at www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/267/YoungMembersAgenda2012.pdf

- For more information about the conference please contact Carl Roper on 020 7467 1211 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

- Top 10 youth employment blackspots, February 2012

Local authority

Region

Claimants

Rate

Blaenau Gwent

Wales

1,270

19.3

Hartlepool

North East

1,440

17.3

Merthyr Tydfil

Wales

865

16.8

Sandwell

West Midlands

4,505

16.6

Redcar and Cleveland

North East

1,995

16.5

Wolverhampton

West Midlands

3,760

15.7

South Tyneside

North East

2,290

15.4

Caerphilly

Wales

2,335

15.3

Walsall

West Midlands

3,515

15.2

North Ayrshire

Scotland

1,750

14.8

Source: nomisweb 18-24 claimant count only

(Rate = Proportion of resident population of age group)

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Press release (600 words) issued 24 Mar 2012