The dramatic increase in Kent and Medway's youth unemployment in the last year is to be worsened by the lack of university places for qualified applicants. Stuart Jeffery, Campaigns Officer of Kent Green Party, comments:
"Kent and Medway have had massive increases in youth unemployment in the last year. Kent's 79% increase is dwarfed by a depressing 158% increase in Medway(1). Medway's youth unemployment rate increase(2) is the worst in the UK, in the year up to June 2010.
"These shameful increases are now to be made worse as qualified young people are denied University places, and the many graduates from this year are still looking for work. Coalition cuts and a flat-lining economy have radically reduced employment opportunities for our young people. Major employers in Kent are planning job cuts: the County Council is threatening to cut 1500 jobs(3); all local councils in Kent are likely to make cuts in employment; the Police being cut back; universities and colleges in Kent and Medway face serious employment cuts. These cuts in public sector jobs will cut spending in local businesses, leading to jobs losses in the private sector such as in retail, home improvement-related construction jobs, restaurant and other leisure spending.
"And we need more trained people in Kent. The Kent Economic Board has indicated that the proportion of the Kent and Medway workforce with degree level or equivalent qualifications is behind both national and regional averages(4).
"Our Government appears to be unwilling to tax fairly, collect tax that is due promptly or to close tax havens(5). The aspirations of our young people are being crushed by this catalogue of failures."
1. Medway and Kent figures: MEDWAY: June 2009 310 June 2010 490, increase of 158.1%; KENT: June 2009 1130 June 2010 2025, increase of 79.2%. Source: www.nomisweb.co.uk
2. Youth unemployment refers to unemployment of 18-24 year olds.
3. See, for example: http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/kent/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8537000/8537064.stm
4. SEE: http://www.kenteconomicboard.co.uk/keb-files/Kent_Medway_Economy_26_07_10.pdf page 7.
5. More taxes can be collected. See for example: http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/the-great-tax-parachute