Unite criticises Clegg’s short-term plan to get youth working

Unite, the UK’s largest union, has criticised Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg’s plan to provide subsidised work and training placements as a ‘short-term figure-massaging exercise’ which will do little to address record youth unemployment.

Unite assistant general secretary, Tony Burke, said:

“This ‘idea’ is nothing more than a short-term exercise that will do very little to address the real problem that is blighting this country. Youth unemployment is currently at a record high and this initiative will do little more than massage these figures.

“It will create a merry-go-round of young people going into low-paid jobs, with no guaranteed future. Unite believes we need a proper system for companies to take on young people as skilled apprentices to alleviate skills shortages in the future, not cheap labour for private companies.

“‘The Youth Contract’ is nothing more than a re-heating of the YTS and YOP schemes and is a hark back to the eighties where similar Thatcherite ideas failed.

“This will not tackle the youth unemployment dilemma; it is simply cosmetic arrangement sticking plaster on an open wound.”

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For further information contact Ashraf Choudhury in the Unite Press Office on 020 3371 2061 or 07980 224761.