Youth unemployment in Gloucestershire doubles in six years
THE number of young people out of work has almost doubled in Gloucestershire in six years.
Statistics reveal that although those aged 18 to 24 claiming benefits dropped from 3,070 to 3,020 from August to September this year, the number in January 2006 was 1,670.
It comes as a national study by The Prince's Trust showed the number of young people out of work for longer than two years has more than doubled since 2008. It said there has been a 168 per cent increase, with an even bigger jump in 18 to 24-year-olds out of work for at least six months.
Careers coach Barry Jackson said there are less jobs to go around – but youngsters and schools can do more to maximise the chances of landing a job.
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"It's even more important that youngsters know how to thrive in the job market," said Mr Jackson, who runs his own training company, Aspire Academy, from his Churchdown home.
"Schools are doing a lot more right in careers than they ever have but the problem is that schools are not measured for outcomes in terms of jobs.
"It's not that they're doing the wrong stuff – they concentrate on the obvious things like CV writing and interview technique, which is great. But the sort of questions they need to address are things like how do you identify the areas where the jobs are and how to recognise an area for a career."
The figures from Nomis, for the Office for National Statistics, show the lowest number of benefit claimants in that age group stood at 1,295 in the county in December 2007 but hit 3,590 in August 2009.
Latest overall unemployment figures show a downward trend after a blip last month, but the total number remains up year on year.
Figures released yesterday by ONS show the total number of people claiming job seekers allowance for the county stood at 10,123 in September – an overall rate of 2.7 per cent.
That's an extra 514 claimants compared with the same time last year.
In August the figure had risen to 10,310 – an increase of 93 on the previous month.
Nationally unemployment fell by 50,000 between June and August to 2.53 million, the figures show, equivalent to a rate of 7.9 per cent.
The jobless figures district by district were: Cheltenham: 2,374, down from 2,377 in August; Cotswolds: 701, down from 762; Forest of Dean: 1,345, down from 1,364; Gloucester: 3,148, down from 3,190; Stroud: 1,463, down from 1,479 and Tewkesbury 1,092, down from 1,138.
The unemployment rate remains highest in Gloucester, at 4.1 per cent of the population.
Cheltenham has the next highest rate – 3.2 per cent. In Stroud the figure is 2.1 per cent, in Tewkesbury the figure is 2.2 per cent and in the Forest of Dean it is 2.6 per cent.
The Cotswolds has the lowest rate of unemployment in the county, standing at 1.4 per cent.