July 2, 2009 12:00 AM

Today, the Welsh Liberal Democrats warned that young people in Wales are in danger of suffering serious long-term effects of the recession as the higher Education Standards Agency released today figures showing that the number of first degree graduates from Welsh Higher Education Institutions who are unemployed a year after leaving has risen by 55%.

The figures add to other indications that young people in Wales are bearing the brunt of the recession including the near doubling of the number of 18 to 24 year olds claiming Jobseekers Allowance over the last year to a total of 26,100. The number of these who have been claiming Jobseekers for more than 6 months has risen by 139% since last year.

Commenting, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, said:

"There is a real danger that a new recession generation of young people is being created in Wales.

"Both graduates and non-graduates in Wales are finding life very tough at the moment. Jobs are scarce, the costs of living remains high and many are an increasing number are being forced into long-term unemployment.

"We have seen before the long-term damage a recession can have on an entire generation of young people.

"For the Government to tell young people that they won't get any help finding work for a whole year is completely unacceptable. The government must ensure that young people get the support and training they need as soon as they become unemployed."

What would you like to do next?