An MP has called on ministers to take action to get people back to work, as it is revealed that long-term unemployment across the Dearne remains stubbornly high.
Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, covering Wombwell, Darfield and Hoyland, spoke out after figures released by the Office of National Statistics show that long-term unemployment has increased again. In January, 955 people in Barnsley East had been unemployed for 12 months or more, and the number has risen to 965. Since June 2011, long term unemployment in Barnsley East has increased by 117 per cent.
This follows figures released recently by the DWP that show the government’s Work Programme is still not working for people in the Dearne, Barnsley and South Yorkshire.
For the JSA 18-24 and JSA 25+ payment groups, performance in South Yorkshire did not exceed the DWP’s ‘non-intervention rates’.
Michael has called for the introduction of a compulsory jobs guarantee for anyone out of work for more than two years. Those who can work would be required to take up jobs, given training and time to job search - or they would lose their benefits. This, said Mr Dugher, would help hundreds of people in Barnsley and nearly 14,000 across Yorkshire.
He added: “The economy is flatlining, the Government’s flagship Work Programme is failing and long term unemployment is a real worry for people in Barnsley East.
“Since the start of the year, long-term unemployment has remained static and has actually increased slightly. What is truly shocking is that in the past two years the number of people unemployed for over 12 months has increased by 117 per cent.
“This is simply not good enough and ministers need to take action. We desperately need a change of course starting with a compulsory jobs guarantee to get anyone out of work for more than two years back into a job; a job people must take or lose their benefits.”