Steep rise in youth unemployment in Stevenage

YOUTH unemployment has doubled in a year in a Comet country town, according to The Prince s Trust. The number of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming Jobseeker s Allowance in Stevenage has risen from almost 300 to almost 600 in the past 12 months, the youth charit

YOUTH unemployment has doubled in a year in a Comet country town, according to The Prince's Trust.

The number of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in Stevenage has risen from almost 300 to almost 600 in the past 12 months, the youth charity claims.

The Prince's Trust East of England regional office, based in Argyle Way in Stevenage, says nearly 35,000 18 to 24-year-olds in the Eastern region are currently claiming Jobseeker's Allowance - costing the state more than �1.8million per week.

A report published by the charity on Tuesday predicts the figures are set to rise, with young people from deprived areas hit hardest.


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It also warns that soaring unemployment and youth service cuts will cause youth charities to struggle to keep up with spiralling demands from disadvantaged young people.

Calls to The Prince's Trust's helpline at the start of this year saw a 50 per cent increase on the same period last year.

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Graham Ball, regional director of The Prince's Trust in the East of England, said: "Our region's most vulnerable youngsters will be permanently damaged by the downturn, unless they receive the support they need."

He added: "There are thousands of disadvantaged young people in the East of England who are in need of our support and this will only increase unless we help young people into jobs.

"Only with their ideas and creativity will we be able to drag ourselves out of the recession."

The report coincides with the launch of a major fundraising campaign from The Prince's Trust.

The Million Makers challenge will be launched next month and will see businesses from across the UK raising money for the charity by setting up their own mini-enterprises. Each team will be given a start-up grant of �1,500 and challenged to turn it into �10,000.

To sign up to Million Makers, call Hannah Bias on 01473 228844 or email hannah.bias@princes-trust.org.uk

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