Government official talks of need to help young people

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A TOP-RANKING MP has given a speech about unemployment in Portsmouth.

Stephen Timms, shadow minister for employment, went to The Cathedral Innovation Centre, in Old Portsmouth, to talk about how the Labour Party intends to tackle the issue.

His proposals included bolstering careers advice services in schools and the need for vocational opportunities 
to be made more available for young people.

Mr Timms also discussed the party’s proposal to introduce a jobs guarantee for young people who have been unemployed for more than a year.

Cllr John Ferrett, Labour group leader and the party’s parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth North, chaired the event,

He said: ‘It was good to hear Stephen offering some hope to young people, who have borne the brunt of the economic downturn.

‘Whilst there has been a welcome drop in unemployment, youth unemployment remains stubbornly high.

‘Young people do need a structured set of options put before them when still in


‘University may well suit some, but apprenticeships and vocational training should also be part of the offer to those leaving schools and colleges.’

Sue Castillon, the Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth South, who also attended, said: ‘The community organisations that were present understand the employment support that local people may need, at a time when almost 1,000 jobs are being lost as a result of the ending of shipbuilding in Portsmouth.’