by Chris Lofts on 15 May, 2012
Councillor Chris Lofts has urged South Northants Council to do more for local young unemployed people. Parts of Towcester have higher than average rates of unemployment for under 24 year olds. SNC has a number of support activities in place to link unemployed young people with job vacancies but transport is still a key barrier.
Councillor Chris lofts argues that ‘Young unemployed people need every help they can get to put them on the first vital step to full time employment. There are few local employers in a rural area such as South Northants even in Towcester. I have asked SNC to extend the elderly and disabled bus pass scheme to cover young unemployed residents so they can travel to low paid work experience or apprenticeships.’
Nationally Liberal Democrats have helped launch the Youth Contract as part of the coalition government’s pledge to reduce youth unemployment. The scheme opens up work experience and apprenticeships with a range of employers. Locally many of these employers are in Northampton. Young people in Towcester and across South Northants find transport costs a real problem as they eat into most of the wages they earn.
Councillor Martin Johns added, ‘We are talking about a relatively small number of people so the cost would be limited. SNC are sitting on nearly £240,000 that was supposed to be spent on youth services across the district. They seem to prefer to keep this in the bank rather than use it to make a real difference to young unemployed people.’
‘When children leave school and look for work not every parent can provide a free taxi service, especially in these hard financial times. SNC could, and should, help with transport costs.’ said Councillor Lisa Samiotis.