More measures to tackle unemployment among the young

Alistair Darling has announced more measures to tackle unemployment rates in the UK – with a particular focus on helping younger people.

The chancellor said UK unemployment has fallen to a lower level than in the euro area and the US, with only 1.6 million unemployment claimants compared with three million in the recessions of the early 1980s and 1990s.

Darling believes the additional £5 billion injected by the government to help people find new work quicker has helped “making a difference”.

However, he argues that there is no room for complacency as the recovery is “still in its infancy”.

In a bid to continue tackle unemployment, the chancellor announced the government scheme that guarantees a job or training for every 18 to 24 year-old after six months out-of-work has been extended for another year. It will now be in place until March 2012.

Darling also revealed that the government will provide an extra one-off funding of £270 million in 2010/2011 to help create 20,000 more university places.

This will be largely in key subjects like science, technology, engineering and maths, starting in September this year.

In his speech, Darling said: “These extra places allow us to strengthen our offer to our young people and ease parents' concern that their child's first taste of life after school or college will be a prolonged spell in the dole queue.

“We have seen in past recessions what a waste of potential this was and the long-term damage it caused.”

He adds: “Because of the choices we've made, every school and college leaver, as well as every recent graduate under the age of 24, will receive personal help and new opportunities.”