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Posted on 17 June 2009 at 0:00 GMT

Successful Youth Fight for Jobs protest

Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Mandelson

Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Mandelson's office, photo Ben Robinson

Youth Fight for Jobs staged a protest outside Peter Mandelson's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills today. Mandelson's department is responsible for apprenticeships and training opportunities. The protest drew attention to the worsening unemployment figures released by the ONS today and the disproportionate effect unemployment has on young people.

Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Mandelson

Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Mandelson's department, photo by Ben Robinson

Sean Figg, national organiser for Youth Fight for Jobs, says "The statistics released today on unemployment are terrible news. The ONS's dominant phrase throughut their report is 'the highest figure since comparble records began' - that tells you everything you need to know! The higest quarterly fall in the number of employed people since 1971; the highest fall in total jobs since 1978; the highest number of redundanices since 1995; highest slow down in earnings growth since 2001. There has been no movement whatsoever in bringing the unemployment rate down."

"And all this is before July when 600,000 young people will leave school, college and university expecting to use their new qualifications to find work. With over 850,000 16 to 24 year olds already unemployed most will face disappointment. We have to fight to prevent an entire generation being written off."

"Youth Fight for Jobs staged a protest today outside Lord Mandelson's Business department to demand that the government create more apprenticeships with guaranteed jobs at the end. That they invest in public works schemes to provide socially useful work that pays a living wage. The government wants to make high-speed broadband accessible in every area of the country by 2012. Why not train up young people as engineers, technicians, and construction workers to speed up that work?"

Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Mandelson

Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Mandelson's office, photo Ben Robinson

"Youth Fight for Jobs has will be organising further protests around the country in a fortnight of action from 27th June to 10th July. This coincides with the end of the educational term, when the lack of opportunities will really hit home amongst the young. As the frustration mounts the country could face a summer of discontent. Youth Fight for Jobs wants to channel this into a constructive fightback."

Youth unemployment was already 16.1% amongst the under 25s according to the TUC.

Youth Fight for Jobs was launched through a 'March for Jobs' to the G20 meeting in London on 2nd April. Over 600 unemployed youth, young workers, graduates and school leavers marched through four of the poorest boroughs in London before rallying at the G20 meeting. Youth Fight for Jobs is supported by three major trade unions, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT), the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and the Communications Workers Union (CWU).

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