Government failing jobless young — MP

Date published: 23 January 2012

ENTERPRISE zones alone will not help the one in eight young people in Oldham out of work, Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams has warned.

The MP said ministers were “out of touch” — and the Government’s lack of action was damaging the chance of thousands of young people.

Latest figures show 7,469 people across the borough are claiming unemployment benefits, 2,460 of them aged 18 to 24. It means one in eight, or 12.2 per cent of all young people in Oldham, are on the benefit. Of the total 1,760 have been claiming for less than six months, and 200 for more than a year.

Mrs Abrahams said: “The unemployment figures, which show a shocking rise of 106 per cent for Oldham’s 18 to 24-year-olds claiming jobseekers allowance for longer than six months, is bound to have a damaging effect on our young people and is a result of this government’s lack of action.

“Labour has been saying for months that this Tory-led government is cutting too far and too fast and today’s figures will only confirm what families in Oldham already know — we are now facing an unemployment emergency as a result.

“All the evidence says that Enterprise Zones do little to create sustainable growth and simply displace large number of jobs, up to 80 per cent, from other areas sometimes from within the same town or region.”

The Government says enterprise zones will aid economic recovery and create needed jobs.

Mrs Abrahams added: “Labour has set out its five-point plan, a strategy for jobs and growth, which includes a £2 billion tax on bank bonuses to fund 100,000 jobs for young people.

“What Oldham needs from this government is real action, not gimmicks. We need the Government’s out-of-touch ministers to wake up to the jobs crisis they’re responsible for and take urgent action now.”

There are 595 jobs being advertised across Oldham, meaning 12 people are chasing every vacancy.

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