One in ten teenagers stuck outside employment, education or training in Newcastle

The number of young people with nothing to do is falling but the North East still has the worst figures

Youth unemployment in the North East is to be tackled
Youth unemployment figures remain high

Ministers have been accused of letting down young people after new figures showed almost one in ten teenagers aged 16 to 18 are still stuck doing nothing in Newcastle.

While national figures for the number of young people not in education, employment or training fell, they remained stubbornly high in Newcastle where there was no change at all.

And the North East region as a whole still has the worst figures in the country.

New figures have been published by the Department for Education showing the number of young people who are not working and not in education or training either.

The Government has made helping young people into work or training a priority, and local authorities are required to track their participation in education, employment and training.

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, announced in April a £30 million package of measures targeting teenagers in dangers of dropping out of the education system without a job to go to, including a fund aimed at homeless young people.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg
 

But latest figures suggest the Government has enjoyed little success so far,

In the North East, 6,860 people aged 16 to 18, or 7.6%, are not in education, employment or training.

This is down from 8.3% a year previously, but is still the highest proportion of any region.

In Newcastle, 9.8% of young people in this age group, very nearly one in ten, are doing nothing - no change from a year ago.

However the proportion in County Durham has fallen from 10.4% to 7.1%, while in Gateshead it fell from 7.2% to 7.1% and in North Tyneside it fell from 6.2% to 5%.

16 to 18 year olds not in education, employment or training in the North East

 

Catherine McKinnell, Labour MP for Newcastle North, said: “Whilst we’ve seen welcome falls in some parts of the country, it’s really concerning that the number of young people not in education, employment or training in Newcastle has remained static at almost 10%.

“We need an economic recovery that benefits all, not just a few at the top – but that’s just not happening for so many people across the North East.

“Urgent action is required to reduce the number of young people who remain unemployed in our city. That’s why Labour has pledged to introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee – providing a guaranteed, paid starter job to any young person out of work for more than a year and funded by repeating Labour’s tax on bank bonuses.”

But Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock welcomed the fall overall, saying: “I am delighted to see even more young people in education, employment and training. This shows that introducing rigour and reform into education and training is giving young people the skills they need to enter the world of work or further education.

“This further shows that our long-term economic plan is securing young people’s future. Our catalogue of reforms, including improving apprenticeships and ensuring young people must continue in education or training to age 18, is designed to give them the best possible start.”

Labour has set out plans to ensure schools give pupils effective advice on how to get a job or move on to further or higher education, by making an element of school funding conditional on pupils progressing to employment, education or training after the age of 16. The aim is to improve schools careers advice.

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