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Warning on jobless youth 'timebomb'

Youth unemployment has become an "emergency", which has been described as a £28 billion "timebomb" under the UK's finances.

A commission chaired by Labour MP David Miliband identified 600 "hotspots" across the UK, covering 152 local authority areas, where the proportion of young people claiming jobseeker's allowance was double the national average.

The current levels of youth joblessness will cost the public purse at least £4.8 billion this year, but the wider costs will be even greater, said the report.

The Commission on Youth Unemployment urged the Government to do more to help young people find work, including a part-time job guarantee for those on the Work Programme for a year.

The report also called for a new national programme to work with teenagers, as well as a mentoring scheme for young people.

Mr Miliband said: "Britain faces a youth unemployment emergency. This is a crisis we cannot afford. Government have set the right goal - abolishing long-term youth unemployment - but we will need big change if we are to achieve it.

"Young people, Government, communities and employers will all need to up their game if young people are to succeed in a radically changing jobs market. Our report sets out a practical route map for how they can do precisely that.

"The crisis of youth unemployment can and must be tackled now. With action we can make a real difference across Britain."

Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, which set up the commission, said: "Youth unemployment has been a burning issue for voluntary sector leaders for years now. The current numbers only serve to reinforce that concern.

"Charity chief executives are ready and willing to be a key part of the solution, but we need Government and the private sector to work with us. The current crisis will only be solved if we see this as a priority for us all."


From Belfast Telegraph