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Jarrow Jobless Marchers To Reach London

Becky Johnson, Sky News - Sat, Nov 5th 2011


Hundreds of young people are expected to march through London later to highlight the problem of youth unemployment.

The rally in Trafalgar Square will mark the end of a 330 mile march from Jarrow in the North East of England to London. Around 30 young people have made the full journey.

The route was chosen to mirror the Jarrow march in 1936 when more than 200 jobless men marched to Westminster to highlight high unemployment.

They handed a petition to the Prime Minster at the time, Stanley Baldwin.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 911,000 people in the UK under the age of 24 are currently out of work. That has risen from from 367,000 a decade ago.

Young people account for almost 40% of the unemployed.

The protesters have an appointment at Downing Street to hand in a petition signed by tens of thousands of disaffected young people.

"I want to see a radical investment in the future of young people. I want to see investment in creating jobs and also investment in education, including abolition of tuition fees and reinstatement of EMA" said Oliver Fournier from Cambridge.

He graduated in the summer with a first class degree but has so far been unable to find full-time work.

A year ago 19-year old Matt Whale from Hull left college with three good A levels. He told Sky News he has lost count of the number of jobs he has applied for.

"In Hull there's 83 candidates for every job so you know the competition for jobs is so big. Some people are going to be left long-term unemlpoyed, it's ridiculous" he said.

Katie Simpson, who is 23, got a 2:1 in her degree two years ago and she still has not found work.

She said: "Because I'm a young person I don't have much work experience. The employers can ask for whatever they want now. There's so much competition."

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