Bleak outlook for jobless youth

LATEST figures paint a bleak picture for young people in Newham, with unemployment continuing to rise and more than one in four jobless.

Stuart Mathews, is among many younger people in the borough struggling to find work and admits he’s becoming downhearted.

Stuart, 25, of Wakefield Street, East Ham, said: “It’s pretty tough. There are few jobs out there.

“Every time I make an application I never even get a reply.

“It becomes very disheartening and you start to think, what is the point?”

He has been seeking work for the past year after he was made redundant by a bookmaker.

To improve his prospects, Stuart began a 12-week team programme course with the Prince’s Trust at the East Ham campus of Newham College in High Street South.

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The scheme includes a two-week work placement and community projects, offering people the training and skills to get work and a chance to restore their self-confidence.

Prospects for young adults in Newham like Stuart remain bleak with Office for National Statistics figures revealing the number of those on Jobseeker’s Allowance rose for the second month in a row to 2,615 in August from 2,555 in July.

The rate of joblessness stands at 25.9 per cent, above the London average of 23.9 per cent.

In terms of total numbers, the borough has the third highest rate of youth unemployment in London, behind Tower Hamlets (2,830) and Croydon (2,665).

While the outlook for young people remains depressing, the overall picture for unemployment in the borough has begun to brighten a little.

Total jobless figures fell for the third month in a row in August to 10,144 from 10,175 in July.

But Newham continues to record one of London’s highest rates of unemployment, with only Lambeth and Tower Hamlets having more people out of work.