|Sadiq speaks out on government failure to tackle unemployment|
|Friday, 18 February 2011 17:53|
Sadiq Khan has hit out at the government’s failure to tackle unemployment, as new stats show that number of people who are ‘long-term’ unemployed in Tooting has jumped 35% since January 2010.
Nearly a 1/5th of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in the area are under the age of 24 – demonstrating the huge impact the recession is having on young people in Tooting.
Nationally youth unemployment has risen by 64,000 since April 2010, and is now 965,000 – the highest level since 1992.
This comes at a time when the Tory-led government has scrapped the Educational Maintenance Allowance, which encouraged young people to stay in further education beyond 16. 2000 students in Wandsworth currently rely on the scheme to support them through A-levels and other further education courses, and a further 1000 students across the borough had applied to the scheme before it was scrapped.
Cuts to health services are also hitting the area’s largest employers – St George’s Hospital – which this week announced hundreds of job losses at the hospital.
“The youth unemployment statistics are particularly depressing.
“Parents and young people in Tooting are extremely worried about the lack of options in the employment market.
“I know what it’s like leaving school when there are no jobs – I remember friends struggling to find work in the 1980s and early 1990s.
“Cuts at South Thames College and the withdrawal of the Educational Maintenance Allowance will hurt training opportunities locally, and the trebling of tuition fees will put a whole generation off going to university.
“With no new training or employment options for young people, the government runs the risk of repeating the mistakes of the 1980s, and losing an entire generation of young people to long-term unemployment.”
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