Youth unemployment is highest in county

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WORRYING statistics published this week have revealed that Erewash has the highest rate of youth unemployment in Derbyshire out of the area’s tested.

There are 2,300 people aged between 16 and 24 out of work – 31.3 per cent – across the borough.

The figures from the GMB Union showed that High Peak’s rate was 27.7 per cent, Chesterfield – 22.8 per cent, North East Derbyshire – 17.9 per cent and Derby city – 15.6 per cent.

But there were no figures available for Amber Valley, Bolsover, Derbyshire Dales or South Derbyshire.

Simone Clements, 17, from Ilkeston, said: “My boyfriend is really struggling to find work and so are a lot of people I know.

“All of my friends that went to college seem to be doing alright but there’s not many jobs and too much competition so if you didn’t stay on at school then you’ve got no chance.”

The figures also showed that in Derbyshire as a whole there are 12,300 young workers who are unemployed – 16.5 per cent – and in the East Midlands 18.6 per cent don’t have a job.

Erewash also compares badly to the UK average of 19.1 per cent. In total Erewash has 5,000 people aged 16-64 unemployed meaning 46 per cent of them are young workers in the 16-24 age bracket.

A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said they would be continuing the work previously done by the Connexions service which aimed to help young people into work but was closed as part of cutbacks earlier this year.

She added: “Youth unemployment rates in Derbyshire remain substantially lower than the UK and East Midlands average.

“A careers guidance team is working in each district to deliver services direct to schools and colleges, helping young people decide on future learning or career choices.

“This is allowing us to target our support where it is needed most – giving help and advice to the most vulnerable young people to help them into work or training.”

A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said: “The priority is to invest in the economy to create the right conditions so that companies are confident and start hiring young people, and to work intensively with those young people so that they are work ready when a job opportunity is presented.”