My View - Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey

John Healey, MP
John Healey, MP
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With the general election only weeks away Government ministers talk of fixing the economy and everyone doing better.

But this is totally out of touch with the day-to-day experience of many people in our area.

File photo dated 17/08/11 of a woman looking into the window of a job centre as the number of young people out of work for longer than two years has more than doubled since 2008, according to new research. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 16, 2012. A study by The Prince's Trust showed a 168% increase, with an even bigger jump in 18 to 24-year-olds out of work for at least six months. Yorkshire and the Humber had the biggest increase in those claiming jobseeker's allowance for six months or longer, with some parts of the region hit by a 12-fold rise since before the recession. See PA story INDUSTRY Unemployment. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

File photo dated 17/08/11 of a woman looking into the window of a job centre as the number of young people out of work for longer than two years has more than doubled since 2008, according to new research. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 16, 2012. A study by The Prince's Trust showed a 168% increase, with an even bigger jump in 18 to 24-year-olds out of work for at least six months. Yorkshire and the Humber had the biggest increase in those claiming jobseeker's allowance for six months or longer, with some parts of the region hit by a 12-fold rise since before the recession. See PA story INDUSTRY Unemployment. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Analysis I’ve done, drawing on official job statistics, shows we’re being left behind in South Yorkshire.

And it’s still our young people that are shouldering the burden of a weak recovery and jobs market.

There are still fewer 16 to 24-year-olds in employment in Yorkshire now than four years ago, and those in work are more likely to face low wages and insecure working conditions including zero-hours contracts.

We risk a lost generation, either stuck on low-paid jobs or dependent on benefits, if our young people remain overlooked and unsupported.

As a local Labour MP, I’m trying to help in a practical way by launching a scheme in the Dearne to match young unemployed people with work experience placements – because time and again I hear young people say they can’t get jobs because they don’t have experience.

I’ve invited 80 of our local Dearne employers to a briefing about the project, after which we hope they will get on board and offer a young person a two to eight week work placement.

Young people who take part will also get a qualification and help with CV writing and interview techniques.

Run in partnership with Communitas, the learning arm of Community union, and Jobcentre Plus,

Our Community will launch on Monday, March 23.

Nationally, Labour is determined not to let long-term unemployment condemn a generation to joblessness.

On jobs, living standards and opportunity for young people, May’s election will offer a real chance of change.

Labour will guarantee a job for young people who have been unemployed for more than a year, breaking the cycle of benefits dependency and giving many the first step in a working career.

This would benefit more than 1,100 people in South Yorkshire.

The scheme is fully costed and will be funded by a tax on bankers’ bonuses and restricting pensions tax relief on incomes over £150,000.

A Labour government will also ban zero-hours contracts and increase the minimum wage to £8 an hour to make work pay.

We’ll boost apprenticeships and cut tuition fees for university.

Our aim is to build an economy that produces more better-paid, high-skilled jobs – a better plan for Britain.

*For updates on John’s work visit www.johnhealeymp.co.uk