“West Lancashire mirrors the increase across the country”
County Councillor Julie Gibson, the Lancashire Labour Group Shadow Spokesperson for Economic Development, has called on the Government to do more to tackle the growing problem of youth unemployment. Figures recently released show that youth unemployment across the country is at its highest level for four years, with the jobless rate between 16-24 years climbing by two percentage points to 13.4% during the months May – July (most recent figures available)*.
Cllr Gibson said: “The national picture is mirrored across West Lancashire. Youth unemployment between 16-24 years old currently stands at 6.5%, (most recent figures August 2020). Overall, we are seeing an increase month by month for youth unemployment in West Lancashire. Back at the start of the financial year in April 2020, youth unemployment was running at 4.9%; it is staggering to see six months later this figure has increased to 6.5%.*
Cllr Gibson continued: “I grew up in the 1980s in Skelmersdale and experienced what I thought then was the worst recession. As a young person at that time I remember applying for jobs that attracted high numbers of applicants and I was often competing against many people more qualified than myself, with a lot more experience, it was disheartening and a took a lot to keep going.”
Cllr Gibson said: “I would support any initiatives to tackle youth unemployment and only a few weeks ago called on the Government to work with local councils to make sure it’s “Kickstart” scheme would be something that truly delivered for young people; sadly the signs at the moment aren’t very promising. The programme is still very short on detail and I would like the Government to give further clarity on how it will promote the scheme and how we can ensure that these jobs are genuinely new roles. The coronavirus has bought us new ways of working and doing business; but we must ensure that strategies are put in place to address the growing youth unemployment problem not just in West Lancashire but across the country.”
*Source Office for National Statistics NOMIS website.