Tuition fees and homelessness also on agenda of TUC’s young workers’ conference


With almost one in five (19.3 per cent) young people now out of work in some parts of the UK, record high youth unemployment will be top of the agenda at the TUC Young Members’ Conference which begins today.

Last month’s unemployment figures show that 19.3 per cent of young people in Blaenau Gwent are currently unable to find work, and in Hartlepool, Merthyr Tydfil, Sandwell and Redcar and Cleveland – all also badly hit by the youth unemployment crisis – between 16 and 17 per cent of youngsters are without jobs.

The overuse of temporary contracts, limited opportunities for young people in education and work and the risk of homelessness for the UK’s unemployed youngsters will also be discussed at the conference at TUC headquarters in central London this weekend.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Now is certainly not the time to be young and looking for a job, with figures showing more than one million people under 24 around the UK are unable to find work.

“The TUC’s young members are rightly concerned about the future of their generation. With a strong recovery still failing to take hold, the bleak prospects facing young jobseekers will be with us for some considerable time to come.

“With the toxic combination of increasing unemployment, high tuition fees and inadequate government support for those out of work, our unemployed young people are being given no option but to join the back of the dole queue.”

Chair of the TUC Young Members Forum Fern McCaffrey said: “With youth unemployment now hitting a million the government’s decision to axe the Future Jobs Fund is looking increasingly foolish, and ministers’ replacement offer of cut-price work experience is woefully inadequate.

“Young people represent our future economic hopes and getting them into work should be the government’s top priority. The Prime Minister should guarantee a job or high-quality training to any young person out of work for six months or more to prevent losing a generation to joblessness and under achievement.”

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