Help for Sunderland is too little, too late – unions slam Nick Clegg’s unemployment plans

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. David Jones/PA Wire
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. David Jones/PA Wire
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NICK Clegg’s pledge to tackle youth unemployment in Sunderland has been branded as too little, too late by trade unions.

The Deputy Prime Minister made the announcement on Wednesday that securing jobs for young people was the most pressing item on his agenda.

Wearside was identified as a hotspot, with 9.5 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds on Jobseekers Allowance.

Mr Clegg said: “We will be helping young people in Sunderland with renewed urgency. For a simple reason, these are the young people who are hardest to reach, in the labour markets that are hardest to crack and they cannot be made to wait.”

The University and College Union (UCU) president, Kathy Taylor, a former lecturer at Northumberland College, said: “Nick Clegg is right to highlight the issue of youth unemployment in areas like the North East.

“However, words are not enough. Only through investing in education for young people will the Government be able to alleviate the long-term problem of youth joblessness.

“Instead of cutting places in colleges and universities and making it more expensive to study, the Government needs to harness further and higher education to provide opportunities for young people and the economy.”

Another union, the GMB, said that although the Coalition’s plans are welcome, it could be too late.

Equality officer Kamaljeet Jandu said: “This is a belated recognition that young workers have been the victims of the deflationary policies of the Coalition Government, which stalled the recovery and led to over a million young workers on the dole. The Government’s proposals, while welcome, are too little and too late.

“Unemployment of 2.61million five years into recession is unacceptable, unnecessary and an unforgivable waste of human talents.

“We need an emergency budget to reflate the economy, to restore demand, which will get people of all ages back to work and reduce the deficit.”

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