Opinion Former

'Deputy prime minister is complicit in creating youth unemployment' says the NASUWT

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Commenting on Nick Clegg’s launch of a £126 million scheme to get unemployed young people back into education and training and his concern about the 'ticking time bomb' of youth unemployment, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said:

“The fact that one-in-five young people are not currently in employment, education or training is a direct result of government economic policy.

"Cutting the Education Maintenance Allowance removed the incentive and opportunity for thousands of youngsters to continue in education

"Slashing the budgets of local authorities has led to the disappearance of vital youth services.

"Removing the grant for the Connections Service has left young people without careers advice and guidance.

"Abolishing work experience and denigrating vocational qualifications is making a bad situation worse.

“Today's announcement is, therefore, a mere sticking plaster from a Government seemingly intent on creating a lost generation of young people.

“Handing money to employers is no substitute for funding young people directly to support them to continue in education and gain qualifications that dramatically improve their career prospects.

“This Government has betrayed thousands of young people and it's a bit rich for the Deputy Prime Minister to now be expressing concern about the ticking time bomb of youth unemployment he was complicit in creating."

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