Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson is backing a new trade union charter for young people.
He said: “I am delighted to support the Charter – it’s something that as a city of Liverpool and as leader of Liverpool I am absolutely 100 per cent behind.
“We’ve got to do so much more to help young people find work and get into work, otherwise we are going to lose a generation, with over a million young people unemployed and that figure growing.”
The North West TUC Charter for Young People is aimed at creating new opportunities for more than 18,000 young people, aged between 18-24, in the city region who are claiming jobseeker’s allowance.
A further 149,000 young people in the North West are classed as ‘NEETs’ – Not in Employment Education or Training.
The Charter aims to persuade public, private and voluntary sector employers to provide job opportunities for young people and sets out a 5-point programme of action.
Union members say the support for the Charter of Liverpool’s first ever elected Mayor is a huge boost to their campaign to build “a future that works for young people”.
Liverpool City Council has helped create almost 700 apprenticeships in the last two years and has guaranteed every 16 and 17 year old NEET a paid 12 month pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship.
A new Mayoral Education and Skills Bursary is also helping 3,500 young people with a £20 a week payment to cover travel and training expenses.
In welcoming the TUC’s initiative, Mayor Anderson added: “I am right behind it, I think its an important step and something that I will continue to support. We have got to make sure that our young people are our top priority in everything that we do in the city of Liverpool.
“Young people are often forgotten and not talked about and they are vitally important to the future of the city and its regeneration.”
The TUC Charter calls for: a guaranteed job for every young person out of work for six months; action on apprenticeships; quality work experience; practical support to help young people stay in education or travel to work.
TUC Regional Secretary Alan Manning said: “We know that Joe Anderson has a strong commitment to young people and has already taken extremely positive steps to help the city’s younger generation.
“By signing our Charter, he is giving a strong lead to employers and potential employers and sending out a clear message that Liverpool’s young people should not pay the price for the recession. They desperately need a future that works.
“We hope the Mayor’s support for our Charter will encourage others to accept their responsibilities to the next generation.
“Unless we take determined action, we will be condemning our young people to becoming a lost generation.”