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Frances O'Grady to challenge Vince Cable on youth unemployment

TUC general secretary and Business Secretary will go head-to-head at National Union of Students summit

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady will go head-to-head today with Business Secretary Vince Cable over youth unemployment at a London summit.

Both are speaking at a National Union of Student (NUS) event to discuss how to get over 900,000 unemployed under-24s into work.

Ms O’Grady called for a “bold new approach” ahead of the summit.

“While recent falls in unemployment are welcome, there’s a long way to go before we see the rates of pay and employment enjoyed before the recession,” she said.

“The government needs to be far more proactive in helping young people into decent work.

“We need to see a job guarantee for every young person who has been out of work for more than six months.”

Mr Cable recently admitted that youth employment programmes — such as the government’s apprenticeship scheme — are not working, having “very low uptake” in smaller and medium companies.

The Youth Contract scheme has shown poor results, with less than 6.5 per cent of those in it finding work. More than 250,000 young people are considered long-term unemployed.

National Union of Students president Toni Pearce added: “We are the first generation who stand to be worse off than their parents.

“Everybody from government to business, unions to youth employment experts must play a role in repairing the damage which has been done to the opportunities for the next generation.”

The NUS is to launch a commission on the future of work during the event.


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