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Ipswich: Youth unemployment falls to just 750 - down 43% from 2012 - but City Deal apprenticeships could reduce figure further

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 March 2014

Ben Gummer MP for Ipswich

Ben Gummer MP for Ipswich

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Ipswich MP Ben Gummer today hailed new figures which show the number of unemployed young people in the town has nearly halved in just two years, but he declared there is still plenty of work to do and he is determined to see that number edge closer to zero.

According to data released by the Office for National Statistics, there were 750 unemployed people between the ages of 18 and 24 in Ipswich last month, compared with 1,320 in February 2012 – a fall of more than 43%.

It also compares favourably with May 2010, when the figure was 25% higher, at 1,010.

Mr Gummer believes initiatives like the City Deal and an improvement in apprenticeships, which he described as being proper, old-fashioned and attractive to young people, were some of the major reasons behind the fall.

He said: “I’m really pleased.

“Youth unemployment started going up well before the recession and there were a number of factors that caused that and these figures show we are getting to grips with that, but there is a lot more to be done.

“The City Deal will make a huge number of apprenticeships in the town, which will help reduce these figures even further.”

Mr Gummer has claimed that previously there was too much emphasis on people going to university and that apprenticeships have not offered enough to young people.

He sees the latest figures as a major victory, but the focus is now turning towards the future.

Mr Gummer was clear that he wants to continue to see the figure fall and he is determined that more vocational options to young people will be a big driving force behind that.

He added: “The important thing is that between 2012 and now, we have really got to grips with it. We can see in these figures that we are making progress.

“I think we can do better than that and get that figure closer to zero – and I want to do that.”

Have you started an apprenticeship recently? Give us your thoughts on the figures and Mr Gummer’s comments by writing in the space below.

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