Youths hunting for work

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JUST under a half of all those unemployed in the island are aged between 16 and 24, latest figures show.

Questions about the number of young jobless and the steps being taken by government to help them find work were raised in Tynwald by Speaker Steve Rodan MHK.

Figures released in the UK this week showed that youth unemployment has reached one million, the highest level since comparable records began in 1992 and prompting fears that a whole generation will be blighted by long-term joblessness.

In a written reply, Chief Minister Allan Bell revealed that at the end of October, 100 people between 16-17 and 348 between 18-24 were actively seeking work in the Isle of Man.

These were either in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance or were registered with the Job Centre or Careers Service but not in receipt of benefits.

Latest unemployment figures show that the number out of work increased to 910 at the end of October, an unemployment rate of 2.1 per cent.

A total of 442 vacancies were notified to the Job Centre during the month and at the end of the month 195 positions were still vacant and held on file.

Construction, retail and hospitality have the highest levels of unemployment.

In his reply, Mr Bell said the Department of Economic Development actively engaged with a wide range of employers to encourage them to take part in work placement programmes for the young unemployed.

‘By providing advice, guidance and support to employers the department has secured work placement opportunities across a variety of economic sectors.

To date in 2011, the work placement programme aimed specifically at the 16-24 age range has provided 58 placements, which is more than double the target outlined in the NEETs (Not in Employment, Education of Training) report presented to Tynwald in November 2010.

Mr Bell said 15 of these placements were currently ongoing and of those who have completed their placement, 22 have moved into permanent employment as a direct result.

Unemployment in the island peaked at 970 in February last year but fell away again.

It dropped to 806 in May before going back up to 846 in June and then up again to 890 in July before falling in August to 830. In September it climbed back up to 890.

Tell us about your experience hunting for work in the Isle of Man. Email newsdesk(at)newsiom.co.im.

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