Government is failing jobless youth, says East End MP Rushanara Ali

Shadow Employment Minister Stephen Timms joined MP Rushanara Ali on a fact-finding visit to her deprived constituency in London’s East End to learn at first hand how a housing association is getting people into jobs.

Their visit to Bow’s East Side youth and community centre came after Rushanara spoke in the Commons last week about rising teenage unemployment in a debate on the Queen’s Speech.

“This Government has no vision for a better future for our country, no vision to deliver economic growth—and certainly no vision to create jobs,” she said.

“That isn’t good enough, with three million unemployed, including a million young people, when people in my constituency are losing their jobs left, right and centre while the government gives �40,000-a-year tax breaks to millionaires.”

She accused the government of failing on the promised economic growth while pushing Britain into “a double dip recession.”

Unemployment was almost 12 per cent in her Bethnal Green & Bow constituency, well above the national average, she pointed out. Youth unemployment was more than nine per cent.

“These are tough times to be unemployed,” she added. “The government is hurting families, young people and pensioners with rising energy and food prices and the Benefit changes coming this year. It’s penalising or demonising those who cannot find work in a labour market that the government is doing nothing to expand.”

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She was joined on her visit to the East Side centre by Mr Timms, East Ham’s MP, to meet staff and volunteers from Old Ford Housing Association who run one-to-one advice and guidance to people looking for work.

Mr Timms was impressed. He said: “The advice and guidance is of real value. I met staff and volunteers to discuss the hurdles in finding people jobs, as well hearing from people about how the service has helped them.”

The centre, which helps people with their CVs and offers use of computers, printers and the internet, got 53 people into jobs last year.