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Call for jobs guarantee for unemployed

By Katia Harston, Chief Reporter Friday 1st February 2013

A Barnsley MP is calling for a 'compulsory jobs guarantee' to tackle high, long-term unemployment in the town.

 

It follows the latest unemployment figures showing the total number of people claiming Jobs Seeker's Allowance (JSA) in Barnsley has risen by 7.4 per cent over the last 12 months - it now stands at 7,470.

 

The big worry for Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher is youth unemployment and those who are long-term unemployed, with the figures remaining 'stubbornly' high.

 

He believes the government should introduce a compulsory jobs guarantee for anyone out of work for more than two years. The MP said it would help hundreds of people in Barnsley.

 

"Those who can work would be required to take up jobs, given training and time to job search - or they would lose their benefits. We simply cannot afford to let people languish on the dole for years on end," he said.

 

Youth unemployment in Barnsley now stands at 2,370 - this is down on the previous month, but still higher than a year ago.

 

There are 510 18 to 24-year-olds in Barnsley who have been unemployed for more than 12 months, which is an increase of 85 per cent over the last year.

 

In Mr Dugher's constituency, the total number of people claiming JSA for more than 12 months is now 920, which is up from 595 a year ago.

 

He said it was another sign the government's Work Programme was failing.

 

"Youth unemployment and long-term unemployment are still stubbornly high, demonstrating once again the government's beleaguered Work Programme is failing to make a difference," he said.

 

"Across the country, there are now more people on the dole long-term than at any time since October 1997.

 

"There are also more people signing on for over two years than at any time since the 1990s - and more people in temporary jobs than at any time since July 2001.

 

"The government's welfare to work programmes are clearly not working and it is time for ministers to get a grip before a generation is left scarred by their failure."