Claimant rise needs tackling ‘urgently’

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A Derbyshire business chief has urged the Government to address a rise in the number of 18-24 year olds claiming jobseekers allowance.

George Gowcher, chief executive of Derbyshire and Nottingamshire Chamber of Commerce, was speaking after latest figures showed there were 15,470 people claiming work-related benefit across the county in February - 367 more than in January.

He said young people needed more skills to compete in today’s job market.

“This is an issue that the Government must address without delay.

“Closer attention should be paid to boosting science, technology, engineering and maths skills in schools and colleges, promoting apprenticeships and programmes which improve the ‘soft’ life skills – such as teamwork, communication, initiative and punctuality – that employers place great value on.”