Alex MP demands immediate action as Stockton named as youth unemployment ‘hotspot’

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has demanded urgent action after research has shown that youth unemployment has reached crisis levels in the Stockton Borough, with the borough named as a ‘hotspot’ due to the proportion of its young people claiming Jobseekers Allowance reaching double the national average.

A report published by the ACEVO, the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organizations, has found that youth unemployment has reached emergency point with 1 in 5 young people not in employment, education or training (NEET)and a quarter of a million unemployed for over a year. The Commission, chaired by South Shields MP David Miliband, also shows that youth unemployment is now not only one of the greatest challenges facing the country in human terms, but is also a £28bn time bomb under the nation’s finances.

The report recommends a number of measures to halt the latest rise in youth unemployment, including doubling the number of job subsidies available in 2012, providing localised education-to-career support for the non-university bound young people to stop them becoming NEETs in the first place, and setting up Youth Employment Zones in hotspots such as the Stockton Borough where local organisations come together and pool resources to get young people into work.

Alex said:

“Stockton, like much of the country, is facing a youth unemployment emergency. This is simply a crisis we cannot afford.

“There are now 1275 unemployed young people in Stockton North alone and another 960 in Stockton South. It is totally unacceptable that these young people are being denied the opportunity to reach their potential and get on the career ladder.

“I fully endorse ACEVO’s call for action to stem this unacceptable increase in long term youth unemployment, and I know that local authorities and voluntary organizations in Stockton will do all they can to stop this waste of young people’s talent.

“It is now up to complacent and out of touch Ministers to wake up to the jobs crisis they’re responsible for and take urgent action now.”