Getting young people into work using a tax on bankers' bonuses is a major priority for the Labour Party, leader Ed Miliband said as he launched his local election campaign.
He made the comments as he toured a hovercraft factory, which he said was an example to British industry.
Ahead of the party's regional conference in Southampton, Mr Miliband visited the Griffon Hoverwork plant in the Woolston area of the Hampshire city.
He was shown around the factory, which is currently involved in fulfilling an order for 12 22-metre craft for the Indian coastguard plus two more for the Korean coastguard and the Venezuelan agricultural ministry.
During a question-and-answer session with staff, he said that having one million young people out of work was bad for the country's economy.
He said: "We want to see a tax for bankers' bonuses and we say use that money to get young people back to work.
"They are not going to like it but it's the right way to use that money."
He said that he wanted more support for young people who choose not to go to university and called on companies to introduce more apprenticeships.
Mr Miliband also called on the Government to abandon controversial NHS reforms in order to protect the jobs of doctors and nurses.
He said: "I say better not to go ahead with that big wasteful re-organisation and use that money to protect frontline services."
Adrian Went, managing director of Griffon, which employs about 160 staff, said: "We are very proud of what we do here.
"I feel we are helping to restore the maritime industry in Southampton - this is a classic British product and a classic Solent product.
"Our market is global but our recruitment is local and it is very important to us to get excellent quality people.
"We got across to Mr Miliband that we are working with local colleges to develop our apprentice schemes.
"It is quite testing to get candidates for apprenticeships that are of the right academic standard as there is such a high proportion of school leavers that are swept away into university."
A Labour Party spokeswoman said: "As Labour in the South gathers for its regional conference in Southampton, Ed Miliband will be pressing for greater action to support industry and get the economy moving, and launching Southampton Labour's local election campaign."