A South Tyneside MP has warned the borough is facing up to a “lost generation” of workers – as jobless figures continue to soar.
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck says unemployment levels are “unacceptably high” in the borough and has thrown down the gauntlet to the Government to take action.
Unemployment has a huge personal effect on people.Emma Lewell-Buck
The Labour MP hit out as she hosted her third annual Jobs Fair at South Tyneside College as part of her personal bid to help give people a foot on the career ladder.
Scores of job hunters attended the event to discuss career opportunities with a raft of businesses, including representatives from the Port of Tyne, Nexus, Ford Aerospace and the Army Reserve.
More than 2,000 people in South Shields currently receive Job Seekers’ Allowance – but Mrs Lewell-Buck says the true number not in work is even higher.
Mrs Lewell-Buck says the annual event is a way of helping to help but she says the Government must do much more to tackle the problem.
She said; “It is a failure of national government when unemployment levels remain unacceptably high, under the Tories. We have seen repeated failures to bring skilled, well-paid jobs to our area. I will continue to always do what I can to help people find employment.
“Unemployment has a huge personal effect on people. It effects their self worth, their mental health, it has all number of effects.”
“People are feeling really desperate. Something is drastically wrong with the system The Government needs to address it.”
Mrs Lewell-Buck says that residents are desperate to get into work – but levels of unempoyment are forcing more people into poverty.
She added; “People in South Shields want to work, they are so proud and so many are skilled. We have got really high levels of unemployment and deprivation.
“I have known of people who are self-employed asking where the nearest food bank is. People are really hurting.
“We could have a lost generation of workers.”
Sh added: “I had a guy tell me of how tough it was to get a job in the 1980s. I don’t want to go back to those days.
“The situation with the steelworks in Redcar goes to show the Government doesn’t care about the north east.
“We either need the Government to start to listen to people or we need a change in Government.
“People feel like they have been forgotten by the Government.”
Defiant Daniel Mayne has been hit with “thousands” of rejections in a life-long battle to get into work – but has vowed not to give up his quest.
The 30-year-old has artificial limbs on both legs and says his disability has led to more avenues being closed to him in his search for employment.
But he still holds out hope that an employer will give him the opportunity he craves.
Mr Mayne, from South Shields, attended the jobs fair in a bid to secure employment.
He said: “I am looking to find work in customer services or retails. It has been really hard for me, and my disability has made things more difficult. I have applied for thousands of jobs.
“I have been looking for work all of my life. I am just looking for a chance to prove myself. It is getting harder. There is no work in South Shelds.”
Mr Mayne feels the job fair is a great way to meet potential employers.
He said; “The fair is a really good idea. It is difficult not being in work. It is hard to make ends meet.”