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Bigger steps needed as 19 – 24 year old NEET’s reaches record high

October 12, 2011 1:10 PM

New statistics that show that the number of 19 - 24 year olds who are not in education, employment or training in Wales has reached a record high have been condemned by the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

Figures show that 56,800 people between the ages of 19 and 24 were currently not in education, employment or training in Wales. Youth unemployment has reached a record high of 991,000.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Business, Enterprise and Technology Eluned Parrott AM said:

"In tight economic times the government must do more to support young people into work or further training. Real, sustainable jobs must be created by supporting businesses to create vacancies and posts for young people to fill. During the last election we committed to providing grants to Welsh businesses that employed young people who would otherwise be out of work. We are calling on the government to ramp up their current plans to proactively increase the number of vacancies available to young people.

"I note with interest the Coalition's plans for University Technical Centres although I recognise that there are competing demands on the recent additional funds which may be more pressing such as the gross underfunding of primary and secondary education.

"Young people need as much support as possible once they leave education, and we need to see steps to prevent even more youngsters becoming economically inactive. This will help to boost the economy in both the short-term and the long-term across Wales.

"The wider unemployment figures don't look good but it would be so much worse were it not for deficit reduction programme and the confidence of commercial markets that that brings".