Youth unemployment 'rising fast' in Lancashire

Lancashire has two of the biggest rises in young people out of work in the UK, according to Labour Party research.

The Ribble Valley has had the biggest increase in the North West, and third nationally, with 267% more 18 to 24 year olds unemployed, claim Labour.

Blackpool North saw a 233% jump between January and September 2011 - the fourth most rapid rise nationally.

The government said youth unemployment was "not the highest on record".

The rises relate to Labour Party research carried out on young people claiming Job Seekers' Allowance for more than six months, from January to September.

'Culture of worklessness'

Gordon Marsden, the Labour MP for Blackpool South and Shadow Minister for Further Education, Skills and Regional Growth, said: "The government's economic policies are letting young people down in Lancashire."

Mr Marsden said Labour was proposing a tax on bankers' bonuses, which would fund a new job creation scheme to solve the problem of young people unable to find work.

He said: "Long-term youth unemployment is rising fast. We need something done about this fast."

Conservative Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP, Paul Maynard, said: "Youth unemployment has been a persistent problem on the Fylde Coast under all governments.

"We are tackling it by investing in apprenticeships, which have risen from 300 to 940 in Blackpool North & Cleveleys."

He said it was fairer to compare figures on the previous year to reflect the impact of seasonal work in seaside towns.

Mr Maynard said: "Long term youth unemployment has risen from 55 people in September 2010 to 100 in September 2011.

"This is by no means good, but the only way to tackle is to keep encouraging apprenticeships and tackle the culture of worklessness across generations."

North Herefordshire was found to have the worst rise in unemployment in 18 to 24 year olds with 325%, followed by Aberavon in Neath Port Talbot, Wales, with 300%.

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