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Jobless youth figures rocket
MINISTERS launched a £1 billion scheme to ease the youth unemployment crisis – as it was revealed the number of young jobless in Hampshire had soared.
Companies will be paid a bonus of £2,275 if they recruit a 16 to 24-year-old who has been unemployed. Funding is also in place for 250,000 work experience placements and 20,000 extra apprenticeships.
The flagship Youth Contract got underway as new figures revealed the deepening youth unemployment crisis across the south.
The number of under-25s on the dole has increased by 730 in the past 12 months, to just under 7,345 in February.
The TUC, which compiled the figures, welcomed yesterday’s announcement but said more needed to be done to make up for the coalition’s spending cuts.
A disparity between different areas is also highlighted, with youth unemployment rocketing by 25 per cent in Gosport but showing just a one per cent increase in Basingstoke. The study also charted the increase in youth unemployment over the past five years. In a number of Hampshire constituencies, including Romsey and Southampton North, New Forest West and Meon Valley, the claimant count increased by more than 100 per cent.
The figures do not necessarily represent a true picture of people out of work as many are not eligible to claim jobseeker’s allowance (JSA). The TUC insisted this meant the overall total would be rising faster.
The expansion of the apprenticeships scheme follows the Daily Echo’s campaign to create 100 new apprentice starts inside 100 days.
Cash incentives will be paid after six months, although small businesses can claim the payment sooner.
Employment minister Chris Grayling said: “This is a great deal for young people and employers. There are lots of great businesses in Southampton and I hope they’ll lead the way in taking up this excellent offer.”
|CONSTITUENCY||JSA CLAIMANTS AGED 18-24||RISE FROM FEB 2011|
|Romsey and Southampton North||1,230||7%|
|New Forest West||260||18%|
|New Forest East||390||5%|
|Isle of Wight||1,305||8%|