Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has challenged the Tory- led Government in the House of Commons over their lack of action to tackle record numbers of unemployed young people in his constituency.
Alex, quoting a recent report which identified Stockton Borough as a youth unemployment ‘hotspot’ due to the proportion of its young people claiming Jobseekers Allowance reaching double the national average, asked Employment Minister Chris Grayling MP if he would take specific action to help the hardest hit areas like Stockton and make available proper resources which would make a real difference to young people struggling to find jobs.
However instead of addressing the question, the Tory minister chose to ignore the plight of more than one million unemployed young people around the country and instead merely spoke about Local Enterprise Partnerships and new Enterprise Zones around England.
“The minister’s lack of response to my question on youth unemployment was quite simply shameful. While Local Enterprise Partnerships and Enterprise Zones may indeed create jobs in the years to come, what we need is urgent action to get out young people into jobs.
“There are now 1275 unemployed young people in Stockton North alone and another 960 in Stockton South, with long term youth unemployment in Stockton North increasing by an astonishing 117% in the last year.
“It is totally unacceptable that these young people are being denied the opportunity to reach their potential and get on the career ladder. We should be in no doubt that we have a ticking time bomb of youth joblessness that carries with it the danger these youngsters will become a lost generation.
“If the government fails to take immediate action then both the economic and human costs of this lost generation will be catastrophic.”