Unemployment increases among the young

UNEMPLOYMENT among young people in Ipswich has rocketed by 60 per cent in the last year, worrying new figures revealed today.

UNEMPLOYMENT among young people in Ipswich has rocketed by 60 per cent in the last year, worrying new figures revealed today.

A report published by Centre for Cities found that the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds who are jobless has soared to more than one in 14.

Ipswich was not cited as one of the worst affected cities in the study, with authors ranking it 30th out of 63 urban centres.

However, the level of youth unemployment in the town - 7.02pc as of May this year - was found to be well above the national average of 5.65pc.

The rate of unemployment in Ipswich rose from 4.39pc in February 2008 - an increase of 2.63pc which is also higher than the UK average of 2.35pc.

Chantalle Hawley, senior careers and employability advisor at University Campus Suffolk (UCS), said graduates were finding job hunting increasingly difficult.

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“Anecdotally, I know that some students are finding it very tough,” she said.

“Vacancies are down and competition has increased massively.

“A lot of students are thinking about post graduate studies to delay entering the job market.”

She said the UCS Student Support department had employed various methods to help make graduates better equipped to find work, including boosting practical skills, identifying employment opportunities and teaching CV writing.

Dermot Finch, director of the Centre for Cities, said towns and cities needed to stop the young and temporarily unemployed “becoming the long-term workless of tomorrow”.

Are you a young person struggling to find work? Tell us your story - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Case study:

CLAIRE Holmes recently graduated from the University of Kent with a first class honours degree in English and American Literature.

But after four years of study, the 22-year-old from Felixstowe is now faced with the grim prospect of finding work in the middle of a recession.

She said: “There seems to be a lack of opportunities out there for young people right now.

“There are so few jobs and so many people applying for the same ones. The situation is quite depressing. It's really disheartening knowing that I've worked really hard for the last four years and actually have no guarantee of a job after it all.

“It's difficult as well for graduates as often we don't have the experience needed for certain jobs, but it seems impossible to get the experience without first being given the chance.

“Apparently this is the worst year to graduate in 40 years and I feel really frustrated that we're having to pay for others' mistakes.

“I just hope that local companies will give young people and graduates a chance.”

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