January 20, 2010 12:00 AM

Today, as Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg unveiled the party's youth jobs manifesto pledge, the Welsh Liberal Democrats released new figures showing that the number of young people (aged 18 to 24) on Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) for more than 6 months has more than doubled over the last year.

The figures, calculated from today's ONS Labour Market Statistics, show that the number of young people claiming JSA for more than 6 months increased from 2,500 to 6,200 over the last two years. Nearly one in every four young JSA claimants has been claiming for more than 6 months, up from 1 in 10 a year ago.

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

"Young people who end up long-term unemployed are the real victims of the recession. We must not leave them behind.

"Thousands of young people in Wales are being left on the dole for up to a year before they start getting any real help. Our 90 day promise guarantees that these young people will be in a job, internship, training or receiving specialist support within 3 months.

"We will offer people paid internships so that many more employers who want to offer them a place can afford to take them on.

"We will also fund thousands of new foundation degrees and education grants to help young people get back into education and to improve their skills.

"Wales still carries the social scars of the last recession under the Tories. Labour are in danger of repeating their mistakes unless they take up our youth jobs pledge policies."

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