Labour and Coalition clash on unemployment


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The key political battleground of employment will flare up today as David Cameron meets 20 leading multinational companies which have pledged to create jobs in Britain, and Labour mounts a campaign attacking the Coalition on youth unemployment.

Ed Miliband is warning that thousands of young people face a "looming gap" when they look for help to find work because of the Coalition's plans to scrap the Future Jobs Fund.

"This decision to betray young people is not just unfair; it is the wrong long-term economic judgement for our country," he is expected to say at a press conference today.

But Mr Cameron counters that 300,000 private-sector jobs have been created in the past six months and he has plans to unveil more job pledges today. He hopes that by enlisting the support of large companies, such as McDonald's, Shell and Toyota, the Government will appear pro-active in delivering jobs.

The Prime Minister also gave warning yesterday that trade unions that strike over public-sector job cuts would find they would not be able to "push anyone around". Speaking on the BBC, he said the Government was ready to talk about the impact of cuts but would not be forced into changing tack. "Striking is not going to achieve anything and the trade unions need to know they are not going to be able to push anyone around by holding this strike or that strike or even a whole lot of strikes together – they can forget it," he said.

"This is a very strong Government, it has got a strong majority, I believe the public is right behind the approach that we are taking, and people need to know that we will not change course because one union or another union wants to kick off.

"We will talk to them," he added. "All of the previous Government's mechanisms for talking to the unions about issues in the public sector are all there. But if they think they can push around by striking – think again."