More help for jobless needed

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A WIGAN charity boss says more needs to be done to help people back into employment despite a drop in jobless figures.

The call came as the number of people in the borough claiming jobseekers allowance fell by more than 220 from last month to 9,318.

And the number of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming the benefits has fallen by 60 and is now 2,675 according to figures released yesterday.

Peter Gibson, spokesman for the Rathbone youth charity in Ashton, said: “Although the fall in UK unemployment is welcome, there are still too many jobless young people in Wigan.

“A significant number of young people are about to leave school unprepared for work. They will have few qualifications, no skills and if they’re lucky just one week’s work experience whilst at high school.

“Clearly they need to train with an organisation like Rathbone and at least give themselves a fighting chance of competing against people with years of experience in a cluttered job market. We also need to see more first-time jobs created.

“The recession has really hit professions like construction and high street retail which were popular jobs with young people and gave them crucial skills which set them up for life.”

UK people claiming jobseekers allowance fell by 8,600 in May from a month earlier to 1.51 million.

And unemployment fell by 5,000 between February and April.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data has revealed that 2.51 million people were out of work in the three months up until April.

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