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Tower Hamlets has highest number of unemployed youth in London

PUBLISHED: 18:00 24 September 2010

IT'S a bleak picture for young people in the borough, with Tower Hamlets boasting the highest unemployment numbers in London.

IT’S a bleak picture for young people in the borough, with Tower Hamlets boasting the highest unemployment numbers in London.

Latest figures reveal a whopping 2,830 young people claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance in August – the highest number in the Capital.

And that figure is on the rise, leaping by 140 people on the previous month.

Trailing behind was Croydon with 2,665 young people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and Newham which had 2,615.

The depressing figures, released by the Office of National Statistics, revealed the rate of youth unemployment in Tower Hamlets stands at 27.7 per-cent - well above the London average of 23.9 per-cent.

It’s a similarly sad figure for all ages struggling to find work in the borough. In total there were 10, 244 people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance – the second highest number in London behind Lambeth on 11,030.

For Samrat Sen, it’s a story he knows all too well. The 24-year-old studied biomedical science at Middlesex University, graduating in 2008.

But despite his degree, Samrat has struggled to find work.

He said: “I had planned to go into hospitals or pharmaceutical companies and be a biomedical scientist. I’ve made around 40 applications over the last two years.

“But most have said they want someone with experience or they post a job and then hire someone internally.

“It’s very disheartening.”

Deciding to take matters into his own hands, Samrat applied for Fastlanders, a two-week work skills course run by the Young Foundation in Tower Hamlets.

The course, targeted at unemployed graduates, includes everything from CV workshops to inspirational talks. For Samrat, it was also the confidence-booster he needed.

He’s now more confident about finding work and is happy to help out at his dad’s restaurant until he does.

Ginny Lee, associate at the Young Foundation, said 50 per-cent of students had picked up an internship or full time work as a result of the course.

She added: “For a lot of graduates, unfortunately, the line they were given at university was ‘you’ll get a job at the end of it.’ But that’s not the case, especially in this tough economic climate.

“They feel very downtrodden, especially when there are a thousand people applying for one job.

“In this current climate you can’t be rough around the edges – you have to be top of your game. And we want to help people hone those skills.”

For details visit: www.youngfoundation.org

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