27 January 2012

Shawcross slams 'out of touch' Mayor as long-term youth unemployment spirals in Lambeth & Southwark

Local Assembly member Val Shawcross has branded Boris Johnson "out of touch" after the Mayor blamed lazy young Londoners for spiralling unemployment.

The number of young people out of work for longer than six months in Lambeth has shot up by 149% per cent in the last year with Southwark’s total jumping by 100%. Figures released this week show there are now 12,125 people inLambeth and 11,125 in Southwark chasing every job vacancy – in December there were just 1184 vacancies available to job seekers in Lambeth and just 1500 in Southwark.

But despite official statistics revealing the stark lack of job opportunities in the capital, Boris Johnson blamed unemployment on Londoners' lack of "energy and appetite for work." The Mayor told The Sun newspaper, "the jobs are there and people need to have the energy to go out and get them."

"There are large numbers of job vacancies. Why are young people not taking up those jobs? Let's talk about the work ethic", the Mayor said.

Local London Assembly member, Val said the Mayor was out of touch and did not understand the difficulties facing young people in south London:

Val said: "The Mayor either doesn't know how bad things are for young Londoners or he is deliberately blaming them for the situation the government has forced them into. Either way he is totally out of touch with the desperate worries of school, college and university leavers and their families in my constituency.

"Our young people are hard working and ambitious but their fears for the future are being ignored. Instead of blaming them Boris Johnson should be bending over backwards to help them."

The jobless figures released this week show that:

The total number of people looking for work in Lambeth has risen by 12.8 per cent in the past year to 12,125 and has risen by the same amount in Southwark to 11,125.

Across London there are 233,673 people are looking for work but just 32,843 vacancies

The number of young people out of work of across London is now over 1 million.

More info on Val on her website