Grayling: Figures reaffirm our commitment to growth and to getting young people into work

Published on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 16:02
Posted by Scott Buckler

The challenge of the global economy must not derail plans to stimulate growth and help young people secure employment, Employment Minister Chris Grayling said today

New figures published by the Office for National Statistics today, show a rise in unemployment (ILO measure) to 2.62 million. The figures are a reflection of the impact the economic problems in the Eurozone and slower growth in the wider global economy are having on the UK. However, the claimant count rise of 5,000 in October to 1.6 million overall shows signs of slowing. The number of vacancies has risen in the three months to October, up 7,000 on the previous quarter to 462,000.

Today’s figures show a rise in the number of unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds to 1.02 million, although the number of full-time students looking for a job rose to 286,000, leaving the underlying number of youth unemployed at 730,000.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

"These figures show just how much our economy is being affected by the crisis in the Eurozone. Our European partners must take urgent action to stabilise the position.

"Our challenge in the autumn statement will be to put in place additional measures to support growth and create employment opportunities, especially for young people."

At a meeting with business leaders today the Employment Minister will discuss the current unemployment challenge and explore how to open up the jobs market to young people.

The Government is determined to tackle youth unemployment and has already launched a number of initiatives to help young people get back into the labour market. Their plans will see 350,000 young people helped in the next two years alone.

Work experience gives young people the chance to go into businesses for up to eight weeks and has resulted in 50 per cent of participants moving off benefits a month after completing the scheme.

Last month the Government announced that sector-based work academies are now up and running across the country and will offer a programme combining real training, work experience and a guaranteed interview which will give young people another platform to get into a job. In total there will be around 150,000 work experience or sector-based work academy places over the next two years to help young people.

The Work Programme is up and running and provides jobseekers with help to get back into sustained employment. Private and voluntary sector organisations are investing £581m upfront in the biggest welfare to work programme this country has ever seen to provide tailored support built around the needs of individuals. Organisations will be paid by results and allowed to develop support that really addresses the needs of jobseekers.

The Government will continue to expand and improve the apprenticeships programme, tailoring support where it is most needed to drive growth and give people the skills they need to get on. Provisional data show 442,700 Apprenticeship starts for the 2010/11 academic year, an increase of around 50 per cent on 2009/10.  In 2011-12 the Government will increase funding for apprenticeships to over £1.4bn, and work with employers to ensure that more high quality training opportunities are available for young people.

The employment rate for those not born in the UK has risen 181,000 in a year with particular rises in the EU accession countries, Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as Africa.


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