Jobs plight of young people among worst in UK
Last updated at 09:13, Saturday, 31 March 2012
UNEMPLOYMENT rates among young people in Copeland are among the worst in the country, Copeland Council has been told.
And it was confirmed to The Whitehaven News that the number of adults applying for work against vacancies is consistently the highest in the UK.
Last month 650 young people aged between 16 and 24 claimed jobseekers’ allowance.
On one particular day the youth unemployment rate in Copeland alone soared to 9.1 per cent and for February as a whole it averaged 8.9 per cent, much higher than the national average which was 6.8 per cent. In Cumbria as a whole it was 6.7 per cent.
Copeland has also emerged as one of the worst blackspots for adult unemployment. Latest figures show that around 11 people (11.9) have been chasing every unfilled job vacancy compared to 5.7 nationally.
Copeland is consistently the worst in the country on the claimant/vacancy ratio, says Cumbria Intelligence Observatory, which analyses the county’s jobless rates.
Youth unemployment rates for the borough as a whole (but not for Whitehaven) may be actually higher as many 16-18 year olds out of work are not eligible to apply for jobseekers’ allowance.
Increasing concerns about the area becoming a general unemployment blackspot were expressed at Copeland Council’s meeting last week. Phil Greatorex, Executive councillor for regeneration, said: “The outlook for all members of our community seeking work is particularly tough.
“And don’t forget there will be young people unemployed but not claiming so the stats may actually be a little higher.”
But The Whitehaven News heard yesterday that for 16-18 year olds in Whitehaven alone was looking a little brighter. The latest jobless rate is 5.2, just below the county figure.
Mike Priestley area manager for Inspira (formerly Connexions) said: “There aren’t a huge amount of job opportunities but it is important to get kids into work as soon as possible – if we don’t then the chances of them being unemployed longer term are higher. The rate for the 16-24 year olds is giving us concern but we are working hard in a market where firms are worried about taking people on, young people in particular.”
Coun Greatorex also told councillors: “Youth unemployment and future opportunities is a worry which is highlighted by Copeland’s Youth Council who are making job opportunities and apprenticeships in varied businesses a priority for 2012/13.
“They, in conjunction with partners from Copeland’s Works & Skills Partnership (Lakes College, Inspira, DWP etc), are delivering a successful apprenticeship scheme which is assisting people with practical work experience and training.
“However, Sellafield Ltd has just announced an increased spend in the Cumbria Supply Chain over the last three years, rising from 30 per cent to 34 per cent. All you can say is that this is movement in the right direction and may ultimately provide openings for local people.
“If we are to tackle youth unemployment we need to encourage and incentivise employers to take on apprentices of all ages and ability. The NDA, along with skills agencies, have a major role to play in this regard. The most practical support councillors could give to improve the situation is to engage with the Youth Council and youth forums supporting their action plans.”
First published at 11:07, Thursday, 29 March 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
I read this article with total disgust and cannot understand how this situation is happening with all the promises being made through the energy coast and N.M.P and N.D.A s promises regarding their socio-economic plans for West Cumbria.
N.M.P. comprises of three multinational companies who if had any real commitment to the West Cumbrian economy could help improve these figures. But their commitment is more around making sure that their parent Companies get more than their fair share of multi million pound contracts on Sellafield site.
We have seen examples of both the N.D.A and N.M.Ps Socio-economic commitments with the closure of Summer Grove and Sellafield visitorsâ centre which resulted in the loss of jobs. We also all have seen the multimillion pound contract that was awarded to Washington group at Drigg which was then sent to Sweden which with a little investment could have been undertaken in West Cumbria and the only thing we did get is the waste associated with this contract
If we are waiting for the N.D.A. or N.M.P. to deliver what they promised then we will have a long wait and all of us in the West Cumbrian Community need to fight for the future of our community and make these organisations accountable and deliver a meaningful socio economic package with real benefits for our community
Why would our youngsters stick in at school or move away for a decent wage when our councillors can have well paid part time positions with no qualifications or any relevant previous experience needed?
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