Concerns over the increasing number of young people in Lancaster who have been unemployed for more than a year have been raised in the House of Lords after latest figures showed a 900 per cent rise in the last four years.
During a debate on unemployment, Labour Lord John Monks, former General Secretary of the TUC, said the number of people aged under 24 in the Lancaster and Fleetwood constituency who had been claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA) for more than 12 months had increased ten-fold.
According to official Nomis figures, the number rose from just five in May 2010, to 50 in January this year.
The number of people of working age claiming JSA for more than a year increased from 135 to 325 over the same period – a 140 per cent rise.
Cat Smith, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood, called upon the Government to adopt Labour’s Compulsory Jobs Guarantee, which would guarantee any young person aged under 25 who had been unemployed for more than a year a job. If they refused to take it up they would lose their benefits.
Ms Smith said: “There are so many young people out there trying desperately hard to find work and the longer this goes on for the more difficult it can become for them. As these figures show they are not getting the help they need to find a job and there is a risk that the talents of a generation of young people are being wasted at huge costs to themselves and our economy.
“The Compulsory Jobs Guarantee would give them new hope of a bright future.”
Ms Smith said few people were feeling the benefits of the “so-called recovery”.
She said: “This is the slowest recovery for 100 years and more and more people are now working part-time or on zero-hours contracts.
“Thousands of hard-working people in Lancaster and Fleetwood are still struggling.”