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Posted on 16 December 2009 at 14:30 GMT

Youth unemployment continues to rise

Press release from Youth Fight for Jobs, www.youthfightforjobs.com

First bleak Christmas of many for generation

Sean Figg, Youth Fight for Jobs national organiser, said: "Unemployment for youth between 16-24 years has risen to 952,000, capping off a year of rising youth unemployment levels. As bankers enjoy their tax-payer funded bonuses, a generation is thrown onto the scrap heap.

"Shops taking on extra staff will provide temporary relief for a whole number of young people, but prospects for a permanent job remain as distant as ever. In the build up to a general election, none of the main political parties are talking about creating real jobs for youth, the only way to avoid the catastrophic effects of long term youth unemployment.

"The future jobs fund scheme falls far short of what is needed. Temporary placements lasting a maximum of 6 months is not a job, and are extremely unlikely to pay a wage that young people can live on. Youth Fight for Jobs is investigating cases where permanent jobs are being lost and replaced by youth being used as slave labour, not organised in the trade unions and only there on a temporary basis. This is a danger that is clear from the scheme and youth fight for jobs have been warning about it for months.

"we are going into a general election at the start of the year. Youth Fight for Jobs will be organising hustings amongst young people on the issues of youth unemployment, and access to training and education. It is a sad situation that, looking at the major parties that are standing, there are none that are putting the interests of youth and working people first.

"The danger is that those with easy answers such as Nick Griffin and the racist far right will attempt to speak for this generation. But the BNP have attacked jobs and public services as much as the main three political parties. Youth Fight for Jobs is organising a demonstration is Barking on the 13 March to make it clear that Nick Griffin cannot solve the problems of unemployed youth."

Youth Fight for Jobs is supported by three major trade unions, the PCS, the RMT and the CWU.

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