Future Jobs Fund for youth unemployment must be targeted to help worst hit cities

The government’s £1bn Future Jobs Fund aimed at combatting youth unemployment will help fewer than half of the 350,000 young people expected to be out of work by December 2011, a think-tank has warned.

Centre for Cities has urged the government to target the money from the fund, announced in this year’s Budget, towards young, work-ready unemployed people in the hardest hit cities, such as Swindon and Hull, to help get them back into work.

Dermot Finch, the think-tank’s director, said: “The Future Jobs Fund will not be big enough to help every long-term unemployed young person. It will need to be targeted very carefully towards young people in cities that have seen a recent rise in unemployment due to the recession.”

Swindon saw the greatest growth in youth unemployment, with 7.67% of young people now claiming benefits, up 5.28% since February last year. Hull is the worst hit, with 9.85% of its young people out of work, closely followed by Sunderland at 9.45%, and Barnsley at 9.13%.

The majority of the badly affected cities are in the north of England, but several southern cities are now experiencing severe youth unemployment, Centre for Cities warned.

The call follows a warning from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Developmentthat 2009 will be a bleak year for graduates.

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