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Charter for East Lancashire's young jobless launched
EAST Lancashire’s MPs have been asked to back a new charter to help the one in four local young people with a job, education or training course back on the road to work.
County trade unions are calling for more apprenticeships, work experience and a better targeted benefit system to help under-25s with the preparation for employment and not penalise those who get it.
They have warned that long-term unemployment early in life can scar people for life.
The Lancashire Association of Trades Union Councils (LATUC), which represents 30,000 workers in Lancashire, has written to all county MPs asking them to support the North West Trade Union Congress’s Charter for Young People. Local Labour MPs Jack Straw in Blackburn, Graham Jones in Hyndburn, and Lindsay Hoyle in Chorley; Tories Andrew Stephenson in Pendle, Jake Berry in Rossendale and Darwen and Nigel Evans in Ribble Valley and Burnley Liberal democrat Gordon Birtwistle have been contacted.
LATUC secretary Peter Billington said: “It was estimated 12 months ago that at least one in four young people in Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, and Pen- dle were not in education, employment or training.
“This was not the choice of the young people themselves. Youth unemployment is now at crisis levels.
“There are simply not the jobs about.
“For young people, long-term unemployment scars for life.
“It means lower earnings, more unemployment and more ill health later in life. It poses particular challenges for young women.
“We want Lancashire’s MPs to support:
- A job guarantee of paid work or training to every young person who has been out of work for six months or more.
- Action on apprenticeships: All public bodies should commit to recruiting a set number of apprentices each year.
- Quality work experience.
- Reform of the rules on Jobseeker’s Allowance to allow young people to return to full-time education without any loss of benefits and financial support, to help all young people boost both their learning and employment prospects.
- Practical support to help young people stay in education and assist with transport costs to enable young people to travel to work.”