Drive to tackle youth unemployment

Thousands of jobs for young people are expected to be announced this week as part of the Government's drive to tackle youth unemployment.

Work and Pensions Secretary Yvette Cooper will launch attempts to create 30,000 jobs in areas including health care, insulation, computing and engineering.

The announcement, to be made on Wednesday when new unemployment figures will be published, will include an expansion of apprenticeships and training.

The new jobs will be part of the Government's Future Jobs Fund - a £1 billion pot of money available for councils, charities and voluntary sector organisations to create work for 18-24 year olds and those in areas of particularly high unemployment.

Yvette Cooper said: "We know that many young people are still finding it tough to get work which is why investing in more apprenticeships, education and youth jobs are so important. It does cost money, but it will cost us all far more if we don't.

"The overall numbers out of work are not as high as many were predicting, but we have to keep increasing the investment and support not cutting it back. Around 75% of young people move off benefits within six months. But this will be the first time in a recession that young people will get a guarantee they won't be left on the dole for as long as a year. We will not let young people get left behind in this recession."

The total number of people out of work according to the latest figures is 2.47 million, but this is expected to increase on Wednesday.

The fourth round of bidders for the Future Jobs Fund will be announced on Wednesday, adding to the 60,000 jobs that have already been created through the scheme.

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