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Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to an OECD report which shows young people in the UK spend almost two and a half years out of work, longer than in many of our competitors, said:

“A jobless generation is paying the price for this Government’s failure to get young people into work.

“Young people in the UK spend almost two-and-a-half years out of work on average – more than double those of our competitors and over 30 per cent more than in Germany and Australia.

“Three years in, this Government still hasn’t got a clue how to get young people into work. They cancelled Labour’s successful Future Jobs fund, their Work Programme doesn’t work and all we know about the Youth Contract is not a single one of 200 companies surveyed are using it. No wonder there are still almost a million young people locked out of work.

“David Cameron has no plan for the forgotten 50 per cent - those who do not want to go to university. One Nation means a system that works for all young people – not the few. Labour will deliver a rigorous vocational offer with a Gold Standard Technical Baccalaureate qualification at 18, including maths and English and a work experience guarantee for all.

“We urgently need a new plan to get young people back to work – starting with Labour’s Real Jobs Guarantee to get long term unemployed young people into real paying jobs – ones they would be required to take.”

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