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Bradford jobs campaign hailed at Labour Party conference
A Bradford initiative to get young people back into work will be used as an example of best practice and help develop national Labour party policy.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne will launch Labour’s Youth Jobs Taskforce today, telling the party faithful in Manchester Labour will not stand by and watch young lives wrecked.
A year since youth unemployment hit the one million mark, he will say: “Britain’s youth jobs crisis can’t wait for a Labour Government in 2015. We have to take action today. So Labour’s leaders from across the country are today uniting in a new drive to give the best thing we an give to our young people: a chance to work.”
Bradford Council Leader Councillorb David Green, along with the nine other leaders of Labour councils which suffer the highest levels of youth unemployment, will work together to find new innovative ways to tackle the growing crisis, Labour party conference will be told.
In Bradford alone there are 6,040 18 to 24 year olds on the dole and long term unemployment among young people in the area is rife with 1,045 young people out of work for more than a year compared with just 120 in August last year.
Earlier this year Bradford Council announced its plan to invest almost £8m to tackle unemployment, especially youth unemployment, in the district.
The Get Bradford Working programme is believed to be the largest job creation fund created by any local authority in the country. Coun Green said: “The innovative scheme we have in Bradford will form part of Labour’s national policy.
“We will be working with other authorities looking at best practice and looking at our experiences on the ground to develop our national policy. I believe that this element of Get Bradford Working whereby we pay for people to do jobs benefiting the community, has been a success and I am delighted the national recognition that scheme deserves, is being noted.”
The councils will create a network to learn from each other, hold job summits and tackle unemployment.
Meanwhile, the Labour leadership was facing growing anger from unions today over public sector pay amid warnings that the party will lose the next election with a “watered down” version of the Government’s policies.
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls was the target of attacks for sticking by his support for the current freeze on the pay of millions of public sector workers – a stance which saw him heckled at the recent TUC Congress.
Meanwhile, an alternative to the Government’s austerity programme to create growth and jobs suggested by Bradford’s Labour delegates will be debated today in Manchester. Bradford South Constituency Labour Party (CLP) along with five other CLPs put down a motion for a bank bonus tax to fund jobs for young people and boost the construction industry by building thousands of affordable homes.