With Britain still seeking signs of growth, new figures show greater amounts of progress needs to be made to tackle unemployment, especially among young people. Figures released today from the Office for National Statistics show an increase in unemployment of 128,000 on the quarter. There are now 2.64 million people out of work.

Carmen Watson, Managing Director of Pertemps Recruitment Partnership, said, “Today’s figures are a stark reminder of the challenges we face as a nation going into 2012, particularly with long term unemployment posing such a great risk to personal finances and the economy as a whole. Youth unemployment remains high and with women also disproportionately affected in this month’s figures, there is still a hill to climb.

“The important task is not just to get young people working, but to get them into sustainable employment. This means that training providers should shift their entire focus to getting young people job ready and into suitable roles and not trying to put square pegs in round holes. Meanwhile, employers should be prepared to accommodate the new breed of young worker. These are the potential employees who have the talent but also require the nurturing and mentorship needed to acclimatise to new working environments.”

Carmen continued, “Investment in young talent and skills is a strategy with longevity but often the transition from education to working life is a struggle. We need to engage with young people in this way if we wish to boost the economy.”