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The need to tackle the unemployment crisis

Home / News / Lewisham news / The need to tackle the unemployment crisis

25 April 2012
unemployment crisis The latest statistics show almost 29 people are chasing every JobCentre vacancy in Lewisham East. Last week I saw that figure put into perspective as I spent the morning visiting JobCentre Plus in Rushey Green.

With 2000 people visiting the centre every single day, it is certainly not the case in Lewisham that people do not want to work. The problem, unfortunately, is the lack of jobs for these people to do.

It was great to hear from the staff at the centre, who are clearly committed to helping their 6500 registered jobseekers into work. It was especially interesting to hear from the manager of the growing team dedicated to the employability of those aged 16-24. With youth unemployment standing at over one million, I asked the staff about how Mandatory Work Activity and the new ‘Youth Contract’ is operating on the ground.

The JobCentre faces huge challenges, particularly in recruiting firms to take on apprentices when Lewisham has such a low business base compared to other boroughs in London. The centre are working to combat this, by linking up with centres in other boroughs to engaging with recruiters.

Clearly there is much more that needs to be done to tackle the dire state of unemployment at the moment, including geographically focussed regeneration as I recently raised in the House of Commons.

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