The government has been urged to do more to provide job opportunities for young people, after official data showed unemployment among youngsters had hit its highest level in a decade.

Responding to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber claimed the economic downturn had hit the young particularly hard and expressed concern about the coalition’s approach to the issue.

“Almost twice as many graduates are now out of work compared to before the recession,” he explained. “The focus must be on securing growth to create jobs, not on mindless cuts.”

Mr Barber added that nearly one million young people are currently out of work and criticised the government’s proposed unpaid work placement scheme, which he pointed out would not be available to university graduates.

His comments came as the ONS revealed 20 per cent of higher education leavers were unemployed in the third quarter of 2010.

Posted by Hayley Edwards