Letter: Help the long-term unemployed now

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The Independent Online
Sir: It is truly alarming that next year there will be around 1 million unemployed people under the age of 25 ('Third of jobless will be under 25', December 28). However, although young people are particularly vulnerable at a time of mass unemployment, of even greater concern is the length of time people have been out of work. As a general rule, the longer people have been unemployed, the greater the resistance of employers to recruiting them.

Most worrying of all is the fact that more than 400,000 adults have now been registered as unemployed for more than two years. In his new year message, John Major should commit the Government to launch a national initiative to create a 'safety net' of temporary work for the long- term unemployed. A start must be made now, not by targeting the under-25s or the over-25s, but those of all ages who have been out of work the longest.

Yours faithfully,


Full Employment UK

London, N16