Timms grills PM on youth jobless total

EAST HAM MP Stephen Timms has called on the Government to take urgent action over youth unemployment.

Mr Timms, the shadow minister for employment, grilled David Cameron on the issue at last week’s Prime Minister’s Questions.

Mr Timms asked: “With youth unemployment now at the highest level since records began, will the Prime Minister reconsider his decision to scrap the Future Jobs Fund?”

Mr Cameron said he did not support the initiative, established by Labour in 2009 to provide work placements for young people classed as long-term unemployed.

But he added that his government would announce alternative proposals.

Speaking after the exchange in the House of Commons, Mr Timms said: “It is all very well the Prime Minister saying that he will develop an alternative scheme, but words are not enough.

“His government’s inaction, combined with his decision to reverse measures introduced by the previous government, is already causing damage.

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“The most recent employment statistics, published last month, showed that youth unemployment increased to 951,000 – the highest level since comparable records began in 1992.

“If government complacency continues, disregarding the wellbeing of young people, we will all suffer for decades to come.”