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Young people in Sutton buck national trend in unemployment 25.01.11

Young people in Sutton are bucking the national trend in unemployment and finding work.

As unemployment amongst those aged 18-24 steadily rises nationally, the number of jobless young people in Sutton is actually decreasing.

Contrary to the national trend, where reports of Britain's worsening economic situation creating a "lost generation" come after official figures show the number of young people searching for a job almost reached the 1 million mark in November, more and more youngsters in Sutton are actually finding jobs and keeping them.

From September to December 2010 unemployment among the under 25s in the Sutton dropped by four per cent and in December alone there were 50 fewer young people claiming job seekers allowance than in November.

Sutton's schools offer some of the finest education in the country and GCSE results are the third highest nationally at 71 per cent for five A*-C grades (including maths and English), helping local children to get the best possible start in life.

Nationally, the number of adults under 25 out of work jumped by 32,000 to 951,000, pushing the youth unemployment rate up to 20.3% – the highest level since records began in 1992. A slowdown in growth since last summer and uncertainty about the future were blamed for the refusal of many employers to recruit younger workers. The figures revealed a particularly sharp rise in the number of 16- and 17-year-olds classed as unemployed, rather than in employment or education, rising to 204,000 from 177,000 in the previous quarter.

The new figures also reinforce Sutton's reputation as the hardest working London borough after earlier statistics showed 82 per cent of the borough to be working - the highest percentage of people in work in the capital.

This follows a number of council initiatives to counteract the effects of the recession and a successful economic development strategy which has included helping residents with skills development; removing barriers to work; engaging with the local business community and developing the town and district centres as a focus for investment.

A specifically tailored economic recovery plan for young people has made it possible to provide a range of initiatives to support young residents. These have involved everything from careers advice to the creation of paid opportunities through Future Jobs Funding. 

As part of its commitment to giving opportunities to young people, the council has also taken on over 30 apprentices.

Cllr Jayne McCoy, Sutton Council's Executive Member for Planning, Economic Development and Housing, said: "Our young people are not among the lost generation struggling to get work; they are bucking the national trend as employment levels in the area rise.

"Young people are the future of our community and by equipping them with the skills and assistance they need in their early careers we are also investing in the prosperity of the borough for years to come."

Last updated: Monday, 14 February 2011

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