THE number of young Wearsiders out of work has risen by a staggering 447 per cent since the start of the recession.
Shocking new figures from The Prince’s Trust show the number of young people in Sunderland claiming Job Seekers Allowance for six months or more has dramatically risen in the last four years.
In a bid to tackle the growing problem, Prince’s Trust ambassadors Alesha Dixon, Mark Ronson, Brooke Kinsella and Jamal Edwards will take part in the charity’s first live-streamed youth forum.
Against The Odds will be streamed live on The Trust’s Facebook page tomorrow, giving young people the chance to have their questions answered by the celebrity panel – all of whom have overcome barriers to get where they are today.
The charity’s ambassadors will be joined by young people who have lived through long-term unemployment themselves and a Twitter Q&A will take place with job experts from The Prince’s Trust.
Jonathan Townsend, regional director for The Prince’s Trust North of England, said: “More than a million young people in the UK today are struggling to find work and, increasingly, many are becoming trapped in a cycle of long-term joblessness.
“They are losing confidence and skills – and, sadly, many are losing hope.
“This is why, for the first time, we are live-streaming a Youth Forum, Against The Odds, to inspire young people to get the support they need
“Our message is that success is achievable – even in the face of rising long-term unemployment.
“This is a way for young people to hear from some famous faces who have achieved success against the odds themselves.”
Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon added: “I feel extremely blessed to have a job that I love, but it hasn’t always been easy to get where I am today.
“At times I didn’t have the easiest of childhoods, but I still grew up believing I could achieve my dreams.
“No matter how difficult things get, the most important thing we can say to young people now is not to give up hope.”
To watch Against The Odds, visit www.facebook.com/princestrust tomorrow at 2pm.