Our young people need a future that works
THERE are more than 18,000 young people in the Liverpool city region claiming jobseeker's allowance.
Aged between 18-24, they have been dumped on the unemployment scrapheap just as their adult lives have begun.
Imagine how it must feel to be treated as an unemployment statistic at such a young age, with little prospect of work.
And it gets worse.
Across the North West there are 149,000 young people who are officially classified as NEETs - Not in Employment, Education, or Training.
No job, no qualifications, no skills. Left on the outside of society.
North West trade unions are campaigning for a future that works for our young people. Because we will all pay the price for creating a lost generation.
That's why we have come up with a five-point action plan to help our young people into work.
The North West TUC Charter for Young People calls for: a guaranteed job for every young person out of work for six months; action on apprenticeships; quality work experience; practical support to help young people stay in education or travel to work.
We are delighted that Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson has been one of the first local leaders to sign up to our Charter.
He said: "We've got to do so much more to help young people find work and get into work, otherwise we are going to lose a generation, with over a million young people unemployed and that figure growing."
"We have got to make sure that our young people are our top priority in everything that we do in the city of Liverpool.
"Young people are often forgotten and not talked about and they are vitally important to the future of the city and its regeneration."
Under Joe Anderson's leadership, Liverpool City Council has already helped create almost 700 apprenticeships in the last two years and has guaranteed every 16 and 17 year old NEET a paid 12 month pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship.
A new Mayoral Education and Skills Bursary is also helping 3,500 young people with a £20 a week payment to cover travel and training expenses.
These are extremely positive steps to help the city's younger generation which show a strong commitment to the plight of the young unemployed.
By signing up to our Charter, Joe Anderson is sending a strong message to employers and potential employers that Liverpool's young people should not pay the price for the recession. They desperately need a future that works.
Those of us in the trade union movement hope the Mayor's support for our Charter will encourage others to accept their responsibilities to the next generation. Because unless we all take determined action, we will be condemning our young people to becoming a lost generation.