Derek Vaughan MEP

Working hard for Wales in Europe

Welsh Labour MEP makes a case for young jobseekers

Welsh Labour MEP, Derek Vaughan, has criticised the Tory Government's failure to address youth unemployment and says the EU and Labour leadership can help to solve the problem.

Speaking at the Labour Party Annual Conference in Brighton, Mr Vaughan said:

"Youth unemployment is one of the great scandals of our time. More than 23 percent of young people in the EU are unemployed and in the UK it's over 20 percent.

More than 30 percent of these young people have been unemployed for more than 12 months. This can have a disastrous impact on a young person's future employment prospects.

In the UK, the European Union has often been seen as part of the problem. This is simply not the case. Around 150,000 Welsh jobs rely on trade with the EU.

The real issue here and across the EU is the austerity policies of right wing governments and their unwillingness to offer real, practical solutions.

It is obvious that the Tory government's flagship work program has failed. Less than a third of young people who have participated in the program have actually found a job at the end of it.

The Tory youth employment scheme, Youth Contract, is even worse and it looks like it will meet less than 10% of the original target.

The Labour Party takes this issue much more seriously.

The Labour Party has established our own Youth Jobs Taskforce. This taskforce recognises the importance of partnerships, because we know that if we're serious about finding a comprehensive solution to youth unemployment we need to work with the public sector, the private sector and the voluntary sector.

With the Labour Party in power in Wales and with the help of EU funds, we have been able to set up the Young Recruits Program which provides financial support to companies offering apprenticeships.

In April 2012 we established the Jobs Growth Wales fund, which means employers taking on new staff receive a wage subsidy and national insurance contributions for the first six months. We have already created over 6000 jobs with many more to come. This is a good example of Wales and the EU working together on an issue which should be a priority."

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