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MP pays tribute to youth unemployment initiative

Thursday, 3rd November 2011.

Haverhill's MP Matthew Hancock has paid tribute in the House of Commons to the work of Supporting Young Haverhill, an initiative launched in May to tackle the town’s chronic youth unemployment.

The scheme joins up the business community with Haverhill’s young people through the JobCentre Plus, and encourages businesses to go into schools, to offer work experience, internships, or even apprenticeships to young people coming out of Haverhill’s schools.

During Treasury questions, Mr Hancock asked David Gauke, exchequer secretary to the treasury: “Does the minister share my concern that even during the boom years youth unemployment rose?

"Will he join me in commending the work placement scheme in Haverhill in my constituency? The work programme and the new flexibility at the jobcentre mean that young people can be put into work placements, and more than half of those put in placements end up getting a permanent job.”

Mr Gauke replied that the news from Haverhill was encouraging.

“Clearly the news from Haverhill is very encouraging," he said, "and I am delighted to hear it. I agree with my honourable friend’s comment; it is striking that youth unemployment started increasing in 2004, at a time when the economy appeared to be in good shape.”

As he left the chamber, Mr Hancock said: “I am glad I got the chance to ask this question in the House of Commons and draw attention to the impressive work being done to tackle youth unemployment with the Supporting Young Haverhill initiative.

“There are 250 unemployed young people in Haverhill, and we must do everything that we can do to get them into work and onto the career ladder.

"That is why I am such a strong supporter of the Supporting Young Haverhill initiative. It has the backing of the business community, and is an inspiring example of what can be achieved when different groups in a community come together to improve the lives of those around them.”

*Mr Hancock has featured twice on Radio Four over the last week, on Rory Bremner's satirical programme Tonight on Thursday and on Andrew Marr's Start The Week on Monday.

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