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Brown Expands Youth Jobs Scheme

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The government is pledging a further 85,000 "opportunities" to help get young people into work.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the new campaign at a Backing Young Britain summit in Birmingham.

Under the scheme, 45,000 young people will be helped to find jobs in retail, tourism, leisure and hospitality.

The figure also includes a pledge by retailer Morrisons to give extra training to every one of its 36,000 employees under the age of 25.

Mr Brown said that in the last recession, many young people found themselves out of work for months, or more than a year.

"We are determined that this does not happen again," he said. "For the first time, we are sitting here talking about the jobs of the future."

Backed by employers

A further 5,000 opportunities, including apprenticeships with companies such as Centrica, Carillion and Royal Mail, will also be created.

A Conservative spokesman said ensuring the programmes were good quality was key.

"The worry is that we're moving back to the old New Deal days, where young people are moved off benefits on to 'training' and 'work experience' to keep youth unemployment figures down, but the programmes did very little to actually help young people into work or gain any meaningful qualification."

About 935,000 young people in England are not in employment or training, the last set of official figures showed.

The campaign is to help people such as Ben Willis, a 19-year-old from Middleton in Greater Manchester, who has had trouble finding work since leaving school.

"Even before the recession, you only had, like, temporary jobs," he told the BBC. "Most of my mates are signing on. It's a bit embarrassing."

'Moral obligation'

The Backing Young Britain campaign will see £1bn spent to create 100,000 new jobs for young people and a further 50,000 jobs in what it calls "unemployment hotspots".

"We have both a moral obligation and an economic need to make sure that young people involuntarily without jobs aren't lost to work," Business Secretary Lord Mandelson told the BBC.

Am I reading this right 36,000 of this figure already have jobs and Morrison's are going to give them extra training so the govt adds these numbers into it's figures?

So that would mean our dear leader is really only helping 50,000 people?

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