One million jobs for young people lost since 2007 as Labour is accused of hiding scale of unemployment on its watch
- Manufacturing, retail, hotels and restaurants have suffered the biggest losses over the past five years
- Finance and business services are the only areas with bigger workforces than before the recession
- Figures emerge as nearly 500 jobs are announced as being under threat at two dairies
By Anthony Bond
11:21, 17 April 2012
12:24, 17 April 2012
Bad news: A new study has revealed that almost a million jobs have been lost since 2007 in sectors which traditionally appeal to young people
Almost a million jobs have been lost since 2007 in sectors which traditionally appeal to young people, a new study has revealed.
Jobs which account for over half of youth employment – including manufacturing, retail, hotels and restaurants – have suffered the biggest losses over the past five years.
Research by the TUC found that finance and business services were the only areas with bigger workforces than before the recession.
Employment in manufacturing fell by 14 per cent over the four years to end of 2011, a cut of over 400,000 posts, said the union.
Over 280,000 construction jobs were lost as well as 220,000 in retail, hotels and restaurants.
In contrast, employment in finance and business services, grew by almost 100,000.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘The manufacturing sector experienced heavy job losses during the recession and has failed to recover during the UK’s admittedly weak recovery.
‘While the retail and construction sectors have gained jobs in the last 12 months, they are still a long way off their pre-recession health.
‘A recovery in retail, hotels and restaurants is particularly important for young people as this is where they are most likely to find work.
‘Unfortunately, these jobs are heavily dependent on people’s disposable incomes, and falling wages are forcing people to rein in their spending.
‘The UK economy desperately needs more jobs and the return of decent pay rises. Our hopes of a sustainable economic recovery depend on this.
‘Ministers can start by introducing a guarantee of paid work or training for every young person who has been out of work for six months or more, as well as a new youth credit to boost access to training, work placements or progression into better jobs.’
Change needed: Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, right, said a recovery in certain sectors is important for young people. Chris Grayling, employment minister, left, said the Coalition was now ‘giving a true picture’ of unemployment
Meanwhile, a minister accused the previous Labour government of ‘hiding’ the true scale of youth unemployment and said the coalition was making changes to make jobless figures more ‘honest’.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling also warned that the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) is likely to increase in the coming months as people switch from other benefits because of the coalition’s welfare reforms.
Speaking before new unemployment figures are released tomorrow, Mr Grayling said that at any one time up to 40,000 young people were on a training scheme under Labour so did not show up on claimant count figures, even though they were still unemployed.
On the rise: Figures released last month showed that the unemployment rate was its highest for more than 16 years
Around 1.3 million people were on a training allowance scheme under Labour so they ‘disappeared’ from the jobless register, added Mr Grayling.
Under the coalition’s work programme, no one disappears from the system because they continue to receive jobseeker’s allowance, said the minister, adding: ‘What you see is what you get. That was not the case under the New Deal (Labour’s employment programme).’
Mr Grayling said that because people no longer automatically leave jobseeker’s allowance when they start a work programme, the number of long-term claimants, especially young people, had ‘inevitably’ risen.
‘We’re giving a true picture rather than an artificial one.’
Unemployment increased by 28,000 to 2.67 million between November and January, last month’s figures showed, with 1.6 million claiming jobseeker’s allowance.
Ian Austin, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Minister, said: ‘The reason young people are no longer on training allowances is because the Tories have scrapped the employment and training schemes which put them on these allowances.
‘That the Government are choosing to blame the statistics rather than do something about the problem just goes to show how out of touch and complacent they are.
MORE BAD NEWS AS 500 DAIRY JOBS COULD BE LOST
Worrying: Nearly 500 jobs were under threat today after supermarket milk supplier Dairy Crest announced plans to close two dairies
Nearly 500 jobs were under threat today after supermarket milk supplier Dairy Crest announced plans to close two dairies.
The proposed closures involve a glass bottling dairy at Aintree, Merseyside, where 220 people work, and a site at Fenstanton in Cambridgeshire employing 250 people.
Dairy Crest said a recent £75 million investment programme enabled it to transfer work to its three polybottle dairies at Severnside, Chadwell Heath and Foston in Derbyshire.
The company is battling an ‘extremely challenging’ market for liquid milk and said the plans, which are subject to staff consultation, would help it reduce costs and sustain profitability.
Dairy Crest, which employs 4,000 people in its dairies business and 6,000 people overall, also announced that its current contract to supply liquid milk to Tesco will not be renewed in July.
Around 3 per cent of the company’s liquid milk sales are made to Tesco and Dairy Crest said the loss of the contract was not a factor in the decision to close the two dairies later this year.
The demise of the Aintree site reflects the fall in sales of milk in glass bottles as residential trade continues to decline and customers increasingly opt for plastic bottles and milk bags.
Dairy Crest also has a food division which makes leading brands such as Cathedral City, Country Life and Clover.
Chief executive Mark Allen said the dairy closures would protect the future of the dairies side of the business.
He added: ‘The decision to consult on the closure of our Aintree and Fenstanton facilities has not been taken lightly, but we believe that this proposed restructuring of our dairies business is the right decision for the long term.’
‘Labour would tax bankers’ bonuses and use the money to introduce a Real Jobs Guarantee for all young people out of work for over a year – real jobs with real wages, which the young person would have to take up.’
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: ‘This Government is doing everything it can at every level to help young people into meaningful and sustainable work.
‘It is working with business small and large to develop the help and programmes that we believe will help young people across the country.
‘We have created the £1 billion Youth Contract that will give young people the chance to get into new jobs or training.
‘It will create 250,000 work experience places and 160,000 wage incentives worth £2,275, making it easier for businesses to take that chance on employing young people.
‘The Youth Contract also provides 20,000 incentive payments for small businesses to take on their first apprentice.
‘Alongside this we are giving young people the chance to take a first step on to the careers ladder through our work experience programme with big and local companies.
‘Underpinning this is the Work Programme which means that young people will get the skills they and employers need so they can make an immediate impact in the labour market.’
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